In June of this year, the ubiquitous gavel that was heard around the world fell on the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by the Supreme Court of the United States. Chief Justice John Roberts’ surprise defection to the other side of the political divide afforded “Obamacare” the 5-4 majority that ushered the bill in to law. The aftermath of the decision has left many walking through a minefield of hurling epithets, thrown out by the usual partisan punditry, now hyped on the crack of a clearly disputed presidential move made in an election year.
The rub, for the GOP at least, has been that despite the constant chatter of constitutionality, the horror of “it’s a tax!”, and the general harrumphing over that turncoat Roberts, the general public is, well, warming up to the legislation. It’s a done deal as far as many are concerned, so its time to move on.
But, wait! Not so fast. This is an election year, and this is President Obama’s single biggest achievement of his term. So, for the sake of’s political life and possible future presidency, the ACA must be taken down or, at the very least, exposed for the over-arching, pie-in-sky, do-gooder piece of expensive nonsense that it is.
Leading the charge on this particular fight are the two Ricks: Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and Gov. hell no!" to expanding Medicaid.of Texas. Their weapon of choice is to brandish the opt-out of expanding Medicaid mechanism that the Supreme Court allowed with the passage of the ACA. The two Ricks have said "
Medicaid, established in 1965 though the federal Social Security Amendments, has been a shaky bastion of social service legislation that has provided health care for low-income families. As a program that is jointly funded by the federal and state governments, it is used to intense backlash by the states on issues of affordability and effectiveness. Backlash, however, does not mean that it is not a helpful program for many people.
Medicaid covers health and long-term care for 59 million people, most of whom would not be insured without it. According to the Kaiser Foundation, two-thirds of adult Medicaid recipients are women. Expansion of Medicaid under the ACA will go far in broadening the reach of health coverage for many lower-income women. This means greater access to breast cancer screenings, pre and post-natal maternity care, and general care for women.
Looking at the legacy of the two Ricks, its no wonder that they have taken the “hell no” approach to expanding Medicaid. Neither one of the Ricks have, to say the least, been very good at addressing women’s health concerns in any way that could denote any kind of sympathy or understanding of women in general. Perry earned the ire or women all over the country and was publicly and infamously mocked on his Facebook page earlier this year for his previous actions to cut Medicaid funding to healthcare clinics such as Planned Parenthood. This move threatened healthcare access for over 100,000 women in his state. Following close at his heels, Scott vetoed funding for rape crisis centers in his state, ironically, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As governor of a state where 1 in 9 women are raped and only 40% of women who are raped are believed to actually report the crime, Scott claimed he still couldn't come up with a definitive enough reason for allowing the funding to go through.
So, it is no wonder that the two Ricks would be so willing to throw women under the bus, yet again, to crow on about how the cost of the ACA expansion on Medicaid burdens the state and is a huge expansion of tax powers on the people exacted by the Democrats. The reality of the situation is that no one knows for sure what the true financial numbers will attest to in the years to come. Just like no one knew for sure in 1965. We're running off of figures right now and both sides are sticking to those that benefit their own cause.
And, for the GOP, that cause is to get their man elected by highlighting the untested financial burdens of a law that the other guy imposed. Rather than seek compromise or any discussion, the two Ricks has taken their stand against Medicaid expansion, and others are in the wings, ready to follow them. This is the face of the GOP in the health care fight in this election year - saying no to covering more people's health needs to stand their conservative ground.
And, at the end of the day, it's primarily the health of women we’re talking about here, so the Ricks don't have a sympathetic horse in the race to even worry about.
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