Donald Trump and the Republicans have failed again. As the number of Covid-19 cases increases, day after day, and Trump seeks court intervention to end Obamacare, the people have spoken. The United States has broken a record for the number of new daily cases, and estimates continue to grow. We were promised the best health care, but the Republicans are no closer to providing it today than when Trump rode down the gilded escalator.
One thing Republicans like Rand Paul have long agreed upon is the limiting of safety net programs like Medicaid. To shift responsibility to the states, Republicans have been pushing block grants, which include work requirements. Approximately fourteen states failed to opt into the Medicaid expansion. Without the expansion, the safety net medical insurance is only available for households with minor children. Block grants would give a fixed amount of money to the states, and no additional money would come from the federal government as it does under Medicaid.
One of the reddest states in the nation, Oklahoma, gave the choice of block grants or Medicaid expansion to the voters. Once again, the Republicans are on the wrong side. The expansion won by a slim margin as voters see the rapid increase of Coronavirus cases and the need for guaranteed health care. This vote makes nearly a quarter of a million people eligible for Medicaid, not counting those forced to apply due to a loss of health care from pandemic related job losses. Ultimately, block grants might lead to a decrease in federal spending for medical care, but this would hardly be the “amazing, yet cheap” health care Donald Trump has been promising for five years. Missouri will put the same issue on their ballot.
In addition to Oklahoma, four other states have told Republicans what they think of block grants. Republicans have attempted to convince voters that giving the power to the states will yield more significant benefits to the state residents. Trump has tried to proclaim block grants as a way to allow states to cover more people than the ACA. Conversely, states could also limit coverage. Donald Trump may be surprised to find that voters read, even if he doesn’t.
Virginia is a university & law school graduate, mom, entrepreneur and angry Democrat, hoping for change.