Seven Republican governors have committed, so far, to refusing the expansion of Medicaid, with another handful still making up their minds. They're flirting with throwing tens of thousands of their constituents into a no-man's land where they won't qualify for existing Medicare, and make too little money to qualify for the subsidies to purchase insurance through state exchanges. To make their political point, they'll happily leave all these people uninsured.
These governors are in some of the states that have the highest rates of uninsured, already. The most recent data, from the Kaiser Family Foundation compiled in 2010, shows just what these states would have to gain.
Florida's Rick Scott is the big loser on this front, with 21 percent of his constituents uninsured. He's already rejected the expansion, even though more than a fifth of his state's population is without coverage. "We already have a Medicaid program that covers the most vulnerable people in our state," he says
. So they take care of the "most" vulnerable but everybody else is on their own. If you're poor in Florida, your only hope for help is to get more poor.
South Carolina's Nikki Haley is right behind Scott, with the uninsured rate at 19 percent. As all teabaggie female Republican governors must, she posted her statement on Facebook, not even giving a reason beyond the political: "South Carolina will NOT expand Medicaid, or participate in any health exchanges. We will not support Pres. Obama's tax increase or job killing agenda."
Not far behind them is Bobby Jindahl. Lousiana's uninsured are 17 percent of the population, but he says, ”I think it makes more sense to do everything we can to elect Mitt Romney to repeal Obamacare.”
By implement the Medicaid expansion, these southern states could cut the rate of uninsured in their states by at least half.
Depending on how aggressively the expansion were implemented, South Carolina would likely see a 56.4 - 76.2 percent reduction in uninsured adults. In Louisiana, the range is 50.7 - 74.8 percent.
But, clearly, covering the uninsured is no more an issue for these governors than it is for Senate Republicans.
They're just taking their marching orders from their base
: "Let 'em die."