The Anti-Obamacare Movement Is Making Red States Sicker and Poorer
The perfect illustration of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
This is a key point that’s often forgotten in the King v. Burwell discussion: the lawsuit shuts off subsidies, but it doesn’t touch the taxes and spending cuts that pay for those subsidies. Republicans in those states will still be paying the taxes and bearing the spending cuts needed to fund Obamacare. They just won’t be getting anything back.
In effect, the Republican plan to destroy Obamacare has become a plan in which red states subsidize Obamacare in blue states.
I’ll never understand why the voters in these states don’t get this and hold their representatives accountable.
The effects of the Supreme Court ruling against Obamacare are, of course, speculative: the ruling hasn’t happened yet, and probably will never happen. But the effects of the last SCOTUS ruling against Obamacare are very real: more than 20 Republican-led states have rejected the Medicaid expansion.
The result is about 5 million more Americans without insurance than there would be if those states had participated in the Medicaid expansion. And beyond that human toll lies a fiscal one: those states are forgoing about $37 billion in federal funds in 2016 alone, according to estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Once again, they are paying for the Medicaid expansion but aren’t reaping any of the benefits. The uninsured are still showing up in emergency rooms and the costs are still being passed along to the insured.
Pay for the newly insured in other states and pay more for the uninsured in your state. Yeah, that makes plenty of sense.