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NYT: 2/3rds Poor Blacks, Mothers Left Uninsured

From the New York Times:


Millions of Poor Are Left Uncovered by Health Law

By SABRINA TAVERNISE and ROBERT GEBELOFF | October 2, 2013

A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, the very kinds of people that the program was intended to help, according to an analysis of census data by The New York Times.

Because they live in states largely controlled by Republicans that have declined to participate in a vast expansion of Medicaid, the medical insurance program for the poor, they are among the eight million Americans who are impoverished, uninsured and ineligible for help…

Medicaid must be a total waste of money if currently it doesn’t cover two thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers,” and we have to expand it.

Those excluded will be stranded without insurance, stuck between people with slightly higher incomes who will qualify for federal subsidies on the new health exchanges that went live this week, and those who are poor enough to qualify for Medicaid in its current form, which has income ceilings as low as $11 a day in some states.

Oh, so it turns out that these people are make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough money to qualify for an Obama-Care subsidy?

People shopping for insurance on the health exchanges are already discovering this bitter twist.

“How can somebody in poverty not be eligible for subsidies?” an unemployed health care worker in Virginia asked through tears…

The law was written to require all Americans to have health coverage. For lower and middle-income earners, there are subsidies on the new health exchanges to help them afford insurance. An expanded Medicaid program was intended to cover the poorest. In all, about 30 million uninsured Americans were to have become eligible for financial help.

But the Supreme Court’s ruling on the health care law last year, while upholding it, allowed states to choose whether to expand Medicaid. Those that opted not to leave about eight million uninsured people who live in poverty ($19,530 for a family of three) without any assistance at all.

Poor people excluded from the Medicaid expansion will not be subject to fines for lacking coverage. In all, about 14 million eligible Americans are uninsured and living in poverty, the Times analysis found.

The federal government provided the tally of how many states were not expanding Medicaid for the first time on Tuesday. It included states like New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee that might still decide to expand Medicaid before coverage takes effect in January. If those states go forward, the number would change, but the trends that emerged in the analysis would be similar…

The states that did not expand Medicaid have less generous safety nets: For adults with children, the median income limit for Medicaid is just under half of the federal poverty level — or about $5,600 a year for an individual — while in states that are expanding, it is above the poverty line, or about $12,200, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. There is little or no coverage of childless adults in the states not expanding, Kaiser said…

Blacks are disproportionately affected, largely because more of them are poor and living in Southern states. In all, 6 out of 10 blacks live in the states not expanding Medicaid. In Mississippi, 56 percent of all poor and uninsured adults are black, though they account for just 38 percent of the population…

We had to read this long and confusing piece several times before we could find the problem. Which they buried:

About half of poor and uninsured Hispanics live in states that are expanding Medicaid. But Texas, which has a large Hispanic population, rejected the expansion. Gladys Arbila, a housekeeper in Houston who earns $17,000 a year and supports two children, is under the poverty line and therefore not eligible for new subsidies. But she makes too much to qualify for Medicaid under the state’s rules. She recently spent 36 hours waiting in the emergency room for a searing pain in her back.

“We came to this country, and we are legal and we work really hard,” said Ms. Arbila, 45, who immigrated to the United States 12 years ago…

So what ‘expanding Medicaid’ really means here is raising the bar for what is considered poverty. But why can’t Obama-Care lower its subsidy standards? Why blame just the states who won’t change their Medicaid?

That doesn’t even occur to The Times because they wouldn’t be able to blame the GOP.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “NYT: 2/3rds Poor Blacks, Mothers Left Uninsured”

  1. Who pays the bill when they have all those children? We do!
    Who pays to feed, house, educate and pander too them? We do!
    Who pays the bill when they crowd our emergency rooms for common colds? We do!
    Who pays the price when they vote for corrupt leadership? We do!
    Who pays when they don’t buy car insurance and cause accident? We do!
    Who pays the bill to rebuild when they burn their neighbor hoods to the ground? We do!
    Who pays for all the prisons, police and judges who try to protect the rest of us from their never ending crime spree on civilization itself? We do!

    It’s somebody elses turn to pick up the tab for these left over west african parasites in orange wigs and $300 sneakers.

    Why are they bitchin? They have received everything the democrats think they deserve in return for their perpetual vote. That’s what happens when you depend on others to do everything for you. If you lay in the bed ’till noon, sit on the porch eating pork rinds and drink and smoke pot ’till you’re blind, and procreate with every other person you meet every single day of your life, How can you even think you deserve a better life? You’re already living a more leisurely life than most kings of old.


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