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There are a handful of Republican governors who aren't so crazy that they think taking free money to provide health care to more of their constituents is a bad idea. In fact, eight of them including Jan Brewer of Arizona, Rick Scott of Florida and John Kasich of Ohio want to take the Medicaid expansion money on offer from the federal government through Obamacare. But they're dealing with tea-partying legislators who think letting more poor people die from lack of health coverage is a fine political statement.
This Republican infighting threatens to deny millions of people access to medical care and the financial security that comes with health care coverage. The standoff also imperils the prospects that Obama's sweeping overhaul will fulfill one of its most important promises: that low-income adults largely shut out of today's health insurance market because of cost will gain access to health benefits. [...]

More than a dozen Republican governors, including Rick Perry of Texas and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, oppose the Medicaid expansion. The chief executives of 26 states and the District of Columbia support the expansion, but legislatures with Republican majorities have effectively killed their plans in a number of states, including Michigan, Missouri and Montana. To date, the only GOP-led legislatures to approve expansions are in Arkansas and North Dakota.

The legislature on Arkansas approved a "private option" Medicaid expansion as a result of the waiver Gov. Mike Beebe (D) received from the federal government. Kasich is attempting to follow suit, to lure his Republican legislature to support the expansion with the privatization scheme. So far, it doesn't seem to be working. Because the tea party definition of freedom is not having health care coverage.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 11:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by Houston Area Kossacks and Daily Kos.

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