Monday, December 28, 2015

As Predicted Here, Way Back In the Spring Of 2013, Many Governors In Red States Are Now Supporting Medicaid Expansion

We had been among the very few voices predicting this, with confidence, as early as March of 2013. By May of that year, as if to stop the veritable tides of the ocean, and rising of the Sun, at least some Republican Governors were using their State Treasurers as bully-proxies, to engage in fiscal fear-mongering, around the expansion. Even so, we knew sanity would make a comeback. And it has. With a grand sweep, too. It is now a near certainty that most of the nation's poorest states, primarily in the South (though South Dakota is highlighted in the pull quote below), will end up adopting some form of a Medicaid expansion plan. To do otherwise -- as we've long argued -- would be. . . inhumane.

This may seem a rather negative post, but in fact, it is intended to ring in the new year 2016 -- with hope. Hope for the day now dawning, when our nation's most needy will no longer be left literally dying in their homes, or on the streets, from lack of affordable care, or life-saving medications. From Sunday's Gray Lady, then -- a bit, but do go read it all:

". . . .I know many South Dakotans are skeptical about expanding Medicaid, and I share some of those sentiments,” Mr. Daugaard said. “It bothers me that some people who can work will become more dependent on government."

"But," Mr. Daugaard said, "we also have to remember those who would benefit, such as the single mother of three who simply cannot work enough hours to exceed the poverty line for her family."

In state after state, a gulf is opening between Republican governors willing to expand Medicaid coverage through the Affordable Care Act and Republican members of Congress convinced the law is collapsing and determined to help it fail. . . .

[I]n Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico and Ohio, Republican governors have expanded Medicaid under the health care law or defended past expansions. In South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah, Republican governors are pressing for wider Medicaid coverage. And Republican governors in a few other states, including Alabama, have indicated that they are looking anew at their options after rejecting the idea in the past. . . .

Indeed -- and happily, it will be in the main good news for pharmacos, like Merck. I wish all my readers a safe, peaceful and wonder filled New Year -- as the snow falls lazily onto the granite slab, outside my office window, over the noon-hour, here. Pax tecum. And, as ever, do right by one another, in the year ahead.

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