DETROIT, MI — On November 7, Maine became the first state to expand Medicaid by a ballot referendum was successful. The next day, Governor Paul LePage, announced that he would veto any new taxes to fund it.
LePage, a term-limited Republican “right-wing” politician, has vetoed five attempts by the state legislature to expand Medicaid. His purpose this time is to destroy the referendum to expand Medicaid in the other 18 states that refused to fund expansion of Medicaid.
It is also a national call to the other 31 states that have expanded Medicaid to quit funding the program.
We cannot allow this to happen. That is why the state elections next year are so important.
If we do not defend the expansion of Medicaid in the states, how do we expect to win Expanded and Improved Medicare For All (HR 676) on a national level?
The federal government is now approving state rules that require Medicaid recipients to have a job or perform free labor to government projects.
“Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, laid out her vision for the state-federal program in two appearances last week, saying her new course gives states wide latitude over eligibility and benefits.” (Trump Administration Plan to Add Medicaid Work Requirement Stirs Fears)
Meanwhile some Democratic “left-wing” politicians in the U.S. Senate, Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, want to allow people to buy into Medicaid or Medicare sold in the Affordable Care Act Exchanges. Their bills are simply designed to create public health insurance to compete with private insurance. Their bills’ problem is that 69% of Medicaid and 30% of Medicare is controlled by private insurance companies. So, they wouldn’t be competing with private health insurance but rather strengthening it.
In the final analysis, all of these political schemes destroy Medicaid and Medicare. Healthcare movement please wake up! Fight for the expansion of Medicaid in 2018. It is part of the struggle of HR-676—Expanded and Improved Medicaid for All.