The sad plight of poor people in Republican-controlled states

It turns out that about 6 million people have signed up for lower-cost health insurance under either the health care exchanges or are eligible for the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, the latter being designed to take care of those who earned too little to be eligible for the former. That is undoubtedly good news.

But what the designers of the ACA did not anticipate was the sheer cussedness of Republicans who, in the states controlled by them, decided not to allow the Medicaid expansion even thought the federal government pays 100% of the cost through 2016 and 90% in the subsequent years. As a result, an estimated 5 million such people in 25 states do not have insurance.

The sheer callousness of this action, inspired almost entirely by spite against the ACA, boggles the mind.


  1. coragyps says

    Yeah. Yay for Texas, and our shithead legislators who are leading that movement.

    Why do we have to be #1 in things like “most uninsured residents” and “most teenaged mommies?” I don’t see that as promoting the state’s virtues – but our Rethuglican leadership must think it does.

  2. elpayaso says

    well, this Is the state where the response to prolonged drought and consequent wildfires consisted of massively cutting funding for rural fire depts and then praying for rain. i’m gradually moving to NM and am glad i don’t have to put TX plates on my vehicles any more, since i could foresee some interesting discussions with law enf types about why i changed “The Lone Star State” slogan to “Laughingstock of the world” or “The Lynching State”……..

  3. raven says

    It’s been said that the only war Bush won was the War on Science.

    It’s not quite true. The GOP War on Poor People has been going well for them.

    It is not just the ACA. The Red states are also lowest in economic mobility. It’s that Libertarian magic bias.
    Of the bottom 21 cities in the ranking (those in which economic and social mobility are the lowest,) all but three were located in the South,

    Posted by: Nick Goroff in Economic Issues December 21, 2013

    It should come as little surprise that in the heart of America’s South where the marriage of free markets and “traditional values” is celebrated by the routine casting of votes for red-state Tea Party style Republicans each election cycle, that the American dream is shown to be at its weakest.

    In a series of studies performed by, a site run by a collection of leading Harvard and Berkeley economists dedicated to studying economic mobility, Southern red-states consistently ranked at the bottom in regards to opportunity for those born in one economic class to elevate themselves out of poverty or into wealth. The findings come as little surprise to labor economists and social justice advocates, who have long held that pro-corporate, anti-union economic policies lead not to prosperity, but social stratification and the enshrining of an economic aristocracy.

    Of the bottom 21 cities in the ranking (those in which economic and social mobility are the lowest,) all but three were located in the South, with the odds of a child born in poverty in those areas somehow working/raising themselves out of their condition, being generally anywhere between 2.6% and 6.7%. As only a slight departure from the old days of institutionalized slavery, this modern top-down social structure has in many ways mimicked the bad-old-days of plantation owners and field hands by way of its consistently anti-union, anti-worker, anti-minority sentiments.

  4. raven says

    If you look at any social problem statistics, the Red states, the south, and/or fundie xian states are always at the bottom.

    1. The 14 highest in child poverty states are all red states. This is an important metric because kids growing up in poverty are unlikely to escape it.

    2. 9 out of 10 poorest metro areas are in the south.

    3. In parts of fundieland, life expectancies are dropping, the first time in a century. The hardest hit demographic are rural, white women.

    4. This could go on for pages and pages.

    The GOP response to all this is typical. The next thing they want to do is cut food stamps. It’s not enough to be poor for them, you have to be poor and starving.

  5. raven says

    I hope those 5 million people remember to vote.

    Well they should vote. If all the nonwhites, women, and young people voted in Texas, the GOP would be done for. Texas has the lowest voter turnout of any state.

    The ACA looks to be a success despite relentless GOP lies and outright active sabotage. The target for the first year was 7 million and they are at 6 million. Reports are that Republicans are signing up in expected numbers.

    Enrollment in these programs tends to be slow and heavily backloaded. We won’t know how the ACA works for a few years.

  6. raven says

    Those 25 states without Medicaid expansion aren’t saving any money.

    Their poor don’t get free health care. There is no such thing. The health care they do get in ER’s etc.. is paid for by someone else. Rates for everyone else get raised to cover it and so on.

    It’s not comprehensive or preventative care either, just immediate. People in ill health getting limited care are likely to cost the state more in the long run.

    According to the CBO, the ACA is supposed to save the USA $20 billion a year.

  7. says

    LOL, I find it hard to be too hard on poor people not being enthused to vote against the Completely Evil Party in favour of the Slightly Less Evil in Some Ways Party. Either way we end up fucked over. May as well not bother having to deal with the shitty attitude of bosses who don’t think voting is a civic right, let alone a responsibility, and who (in “right-to-work-starve” states like Texas) risk being sacked for doing so. Having a job and living under a CEP government is probably better than not having a job under a SLESWP government.

    Time for a class war up in here.

  8. wtfwhateverd00d says

    Here in Arizona where Jan Brewer was pretty famously against Obamacare and decided not to set up an insurance exchange, she was persuaded by the Federal dollars to expand Medicaid.

    So Spring last year total partisonic reveral occurred where liberals gave her huge acclaim and conservatives found her equal to the devil.

    Anyway, I am glad she expanded Medicaid.

  9. Charles Allen says

    As The Voice for the poor, understanding the true meaning of Humanity, one will see the issue should not be focused on the evil name of poverty, but the focus must be placed on the unfortunate people that have been entrapped in the wicked snare of poverty. Once the focus is placed on these unfortunate people, then one will see, understand and accept the true fact that they are as much humans as what the rich are, and thus have the same rights to life as the rich. No human being on this earth has ever had the desire to live in poverty, and no human being has ever had the desire to not have the given opportunity to be part of the humanitarian development process. One must also accept the fact, that not all people are born with a silver spoon in their mouths, and many are not given the same opportunities as others. Therefore it is the responsibility of the strong to support the weak in every possible way. No poor person can escape the wicked snare of poverty by him or herself, but needs a strong hand to set him or her free from this wicked snare.

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