The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Medicaid Expansion:
A Rickety Rollercoaster

Nov 11, 2013

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) say more of the poor will finally have access to healthcare because of the law’s expansion of Medicaid. Unfortunately, the Medicaid expansion is a safety net full of holes.

First of all, 25 states have NOT expanded Medicaid. And the 25 states plus Washington, D.C. that did expand Medicaid have put the working poor into a trick bag. If and when a person’s income temporarily goes up, they will LOSE the Medicaid COVERAGE they already have!

One study in Health Affairs found that 35 per cent of the poor will be tossed in and out of Medicaid. This is because their monthly income is constantly shifting. For many workers, hours may get cut at one time, but overtime is possible later. This will leave millions of people in constant jeopardy. One month they will qualify for health insurance, but the next month they will not. This is a crazy way to set up a healthcare system.

Medicaid has long been a bureaucratic program that makes it hard to obtain and keep benefits.

Medicaid applications are 20 or more pages long. Applicants must collect many documents. When you are ill and need health insurance, this is difficult to do.

When the government bailed out the banks in 2008, their paper work was said to fit on a single piece of paper. If only those applying for Medicaid could get the same deal!

Clearly, all human beings need access to medical care. Along with food, clothing, water, and shelter, medical care should be a human right. But the capitalist system charges outrageous prices for this list of necessities, just so profit can be wrung out and handed over to the wealthy few.