Tuesday, August 27, 2013

While Miley Cyrus Was Prancing Around, And You Were Outraged...

...some important things were happening!

The fall out of The Great Miley Freak Out Of 2013 has moved on from it's initial stages of general outrage; to outraged paired with more outrage that your allies aren't being outraged in the right way: and finally into the loftier realm of "what-does-it-all-mean-ism."  While it's all been very fun pointing out that a 20 year old whose been basically raised since childhood in the spotlight of fame and privileged can act in a less than ideal way when put back in the spotlight of the VMA's, more important things have been happening.

In Michigan a few hours ago, Republican governor Rick Snyder teamed but with the state senate Democrats and another eight state senate Republicans to pass a bill allowing the expansion of Medicaid in their state under the terms of Obamacare. To review Obamacare is a giant bill with all sorts of provisions, but one of the most important ones is the expansion of Medicaid to cover all Americans who don't have insurance and live at, or below, 133 percent of the poverty line. This policy was enforced on states in the original bill by offering states the carrot that the federal government would pay 90 percent of all new Medicaid costs caused by this expansion and the stick that if the states didn't adopt the expansion of Medicaid they would risk their current Medicaid funds. The Supreme Court, in all it's glory, decided this was unconstitutional for some reason, and replaced this carrot and stick approach with an all carrot approach in which sates would get the federal funding, but could refuse and not risk their current monies if they chose to do so.

The result of John Robert's infinite wisdom is that a number of states have refused to let their uninsured citizen's get health care via Medicaid because Obamacare is bad and stuff.

But as the political scientists and economists like to say, incentives work. The money, and perhaps the moral reality of expanding healthcare to people needing it compared denying it to them out of a sense of pique, has enticed several brave Republican governors to defy The Crazy and try and expand health care access. As Snyder put it, "This is about one element that we control here in Michigan that we can make a difference in here in people’s lives.”

Of course this doesn't mean that other states will now fall like dominoes. If Michigan adopts the expansion of Medicaid as it's expected to do once the state house passes it only 24 states and the District of Columbia will have signed on to it. But this still represents that Obamacare is well on it's way to being ingrained into our society as well as being embraced by more and more states. In other words,basically all this nonsense over not funding Obamacare is squabbling over bragging rights about who held out the longest. Obama won a long time ago.

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