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Infographic showing result of decision by states to refuse Medicaid expansion money.

In Thursday's press conference announcing that the Affordable Care Act had reached 8 million exchange enrollees, President Obama was asked whether that would mean Democrats would start campaigning on Obamacare. His answer in part:
I think that Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the fact that millions of people like the woman I just described who I saw in Pennsylvania yesterday we’re helping because of something we did. I don’t think we should apologize for it, and I don’t think we should be defensive about it. I think there is a strong, good, right story to tell.
He gave them the blueprint for telling that story, here:
[I]f the Republicans want to spend the entire next six months or year talking about repealing a bill that provides millions of people health insurance without providing any meaningful alternative, instead of wanting to talk about jobs and the economic situation of families all across the country, that's their prerogative. At some point I think they’ll make the transition. That's my hope, anyway. If not, we're just going to keep on doing what we're doing, which is making it work for people all across the country.

I'm sorry, I'm going to say one last thing about this, just because this does frustrate me: States that have chosen not to expand Medicaid for no other reason than political spite. You’ve got 5 million people who could be having health insurance right now at no cost to these states—zero cost to these states—other than ideological reasons. They have chosen not to provide health insurance for their citizens. That's wrong. It should stop. Those folks should be able to get health insurance like everybody else.

Democrats can stand behind Obamacare, making the case that it has helped millions of people. But that's just part of the story. The other side of it is that Republicans aren't just fighting to take all that away from the people who just got it—anywhere from 14 to 23 million people—they're keeping 5 million out of coverage. Simply because of politics. People are dying simply because of Republican politics.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:58:44 AM PDT

  •  Medicare for All by 2016: an election issue? /nt (5+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:01:02 AM PDT

  •  Fighting Democrats! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rktect

    We've been advocating this kind of thing for a long time. It's quite welcome.

    The whole approach of trying to 'split the difference' with Republicans just ends up driving both parties to the right, as well as reinforcing the criticism that Democrats don't stand for anything.

    Maybe they'll find out that fighting for popular policies that are also good governance can be a winning electoral strategy.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:22:05 AM PDT

  •  Paying for it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, BradMajors

    Democrats should be fighting to pass a bill in which the federal government will pick up 100% of the cost in perpetuity.

    What they've done with the 3 year teaser rate where the government picks up 100% of the cost (2014-16....coincidentally when Obama leaves office) is create a situation where states will likely start cutting back once they have to come up with some of the money to finance the expansion.

    It dips gradually each year after until it reaches 10% in 2020.

    Medicaid was already a huge cost for the states, and lopping 10% onto their budgets in the future for the cost of expansion takes us right back to where we were before Obamacare where states will be nibbling around it as the cost grows since more people will be on it.

    The government continuing to pick up the tab dramatically decreases the political games that will be played with Medicaid going forward as governors won't be able to hide behind the cost of expansion as a reason for not doing it.

    Frankly I think it was shady the government structured this to be like a teaser mortgage that resets a few years after getting it by paying to pick-up all the cost up front to get people enrolled and then all the sudden a few years later states have to start sharing the cost knowing that most will be hard pressed to find the new revenues and will just cut back on the program.

    •  before the ACA, the states share was much higher (4+ / 0-)

      usually the state share was around 40%, right now the cost is 0 for a couple years then gradually going to 10% by 2022 and staying at 10% there after. 10% is still a great deal compared to the share of the costs prior to the ACa becoming law.

    •  How to look a gift horse in the mouth (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA

      Medicaid is an investment in people. Affordable care means fewer sick people and as a preventative measure should be seen as an investment that reduces therapeutic costs.

      The Federal government is picking up the costs of the startup and allowing states to transition from emergency room care to affordable care saving huge amounts of money.

      A lot of the startup costs go for things like new infrastructure, recruiting and training staff, purchasing medical equipment. Its like giving a new business a tax break or a subsidy. After all of that startup investment is in place the new business has a much easier route to success.

      Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

      by rktect on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:46:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So how do we get people to care about this? (0+ / 0-)

    We've been saying out loud for years (Thank the FSM for Alan Grayson) that Republicans want people to die and still they keep winning re-election to the Senate and House. Far too many Americans were OK with 45,000 dying from lack of health care I don't see that many getting fired up over these numbers. The stories of individuals dying, like that lady last week, might have some resonance but frankly I'm pessimistic about it breaking thru the Bubble of Duh™ that FOX has created.

    GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:30:32 AM PDT

    •  We have a compelling story to tell. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      crystal eyes

      With 8 million people now signed up for health insurance (and that's just on the exchanges), most people will know someone who benefited. This is going to save lives, and we need to emphasize that, both with ads and with personal word of mouth. Once people see someone they know who is helped by the ACA, the Fox News bubble won't stand a chance. This is how we win, as liberals: we appeal to empathy and fairness, and to the fundamental decency of people.

  •  So the ACA really did lead to "Death Panels" (5+ / 0-)

    They just happened to be composed of Republican governors and state legislatures who are preventing the expansion of Medicaid, at mostly Federal expanse, for the citizens of their states.

  •  The other thing (4+ / 0-)

    democrats should do is start tying ACA tightly to the history and legacy of SS and Medicare, pointing out how long and how hard conservatives have labored to destroy those programs that have saved countless millions from poverty and misery. We should always be teaching/reminding people where this stuff came from and who stands where on it.

  •  People are dying because of Republican politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueZone

    Hundreds of thousands of people died in Iraq because of Republican politics. There was no reason for it.

    The Republican Party has been the Party of Death for over a decade.

    “Hardworking men and women who are busting their tails in full-time jobs shouldn't be left in poverty.” -- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:42:05 AM PDT

  •  Pro-Syphilis Party (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueZone, hamjudo

    Cuts to Planned Parenthood are already resulting in increased STD rates.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:44:19 AM PDT

  •  Now(2014) is the Time to run on Medicaid (3+ / 0-)

    Expansion. I, too, did not understand, like others, why no one was talking about Medicaid Expansion during the enrollment period.

    Now, that the air is clearing, it is becoming evident that not Expanding Medicaid, with the backdrop of Millions having signed up for the  ACA  benefits, people are learning that they are having to pay high premiums and deductibles, or are being denied affordable health care because of silliness.

    The timing is perfect to force the Expansion of Medicaid if, Democrats will publicize and run on this issue with a vengeance.It is a Win/Win for Constituents and Dems.

    If Republicans do not Expand before the elections, then the Dems can do it when they are voted out of office.

    People need ACA NOW.

  •  This could turn states like GA blue. (7+ / 0-)

    If state Democrats run on not being left behind on the ACA and can show the benefits that other states are enjoing, that could motivate enough Democrats out to vote in 2014 and 2016 and Georgia could easily turn blue.

    "You are being left out because Republicans hate Obama more than they love America"

    To be a Republican, you have to believe that our economic problems are caused by the poor having too much money and the rich not having enough.

    by Tommy Jones the Band on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:46:46 AM PDT

  •  Um, I hate to tell you this, but those last (0+ / 0-)

    2 bullets? Republicans consider those features, not bugs.

    Watch out or I'll go get my shovel and unload plant divisions on you!

    by Attack Gardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:50:54 AM PDT

  •  there have to be (0+ / 0-)

    many hateful and prejudiced people in america to keep electing these gop thugs and fascists to congress when its so obvious they don't care one iota about the 99% and their well being,

    maybe soon the haters will put their bigotry and bias behind and we can get on with rebuilding america and returning to a nation that cares and respects one another, when that day will come only time will tell.

    save america defeat all republicans and conservatives

  •  Republicans Kill People (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueZone, hamjudo

    Sounds like a slogan to me.  Fox News implodes.

    Think about the baby Jesus. Up in that tower, letting His hair down so that the three wise men could climb up and spin the dreidle and see if there's six more weeks of winter. -- Will and Grace

    by Rikon Snow on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:52:16 AM PDT

  •  Thanks, Ms. McCarter. (0+ / 0-)

    This entire topic is a powerful tool Democrats all across the country can use this autumn.

    This should be a central plank the the DNC's national campaign heading to November 4th.

    Huey728 "I'm not really big on calling strangers on the phone, but I felt this election was too important to just sit back and watch." Elections are decided exactly this way; every damned election! GOTV counts... the votes!

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 12:00:01 PM PDT

  •  Have To Pressure Swing District Dem's To Back ACA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida

    Maybe they can get advice from all the Democratic candidates who lost in 2010 and 1994 midterms because they thought the key to survival was to back away from the parties policies. Lot more of those than the ones who lost because they sided with the party.

  •  Why is he sorry that he has to "say one.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....last thing about this"?  

    Honestly - I wish this guy would slug just a little harder.  You don't slug in paragraphs. You slug in epigraphs.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 12:03:35 PM PDT

  •  Texas needs its Medicaid expansion. (0+ / 0-)

    Feels like we are a third world nation.

    "A dog starved at his master's gate/Predicts the ruin of the state" Blake

    by McCamy Taylor on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 12:33:09 PM PDT

  •  Go on Offense (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueKS

    Go on offense on this issue now .The question that ever Republican should and can be asked is simply. Do you support the repeal of healthcare for the millions that have gained healthcare, and those able to stay on their parents policy and seniors that had doughnut hole closed.Call out the states that refuse to expand Medicaid and support Moveon.org they are agggressively calling out La for not supporting Medicaid expansion and this should be expanded to other states . I emailed all of the Democratic members today and groups alinged and told them to go on offense and dont wait.

  •  Time to start a counter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hamjudo, BlueKS

    Somebody needs to create an Internet site with a counter estimating the number of people dead because of the Republican refusal to expand Medicaid.

  •  BUT...But...but...bu... (0+ / 0-)

    Dana Perino says he's a joke and she should know a jerk when she sees one.

  •  Question (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure the answer is no, but is there any administrative way (i.e. not having to go through the Senate and House) to bypass states that have rejected it and administer the Medicaid expansion through the federal government, the way Medicare is done? If there's even the tiniest of loopholes through which this can be done, the administration should consider it.

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