Oklahomans Embarrass Trump Again & Vote for Medicaid Expansion Under Obamacare
Just a few weeks after failing to attend Donald Trump's ill-advised Tulsa rally, voters in Oklahoma, one of the nation's most conservative states, handed the President another humiliating defeat. On Tuesday they bucked Republican opposition and voted to expand Medicaid to cover several hundred thousand low-income residents. More significantly, they voted to accept a key element of the Affordable Care Act [ACA, Obamacare] just days after the Trump administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that Obamacare should be abolished.
The GOP scored a lot of political points right after the passage of Obamacare by arguing that it would fail and was an example of "creeping socialism," and few conservative states signed up for Medicaid expansion. But recently even red-state voters have warmed to the program as it has proven to be both enduring and effective. Oklahoma now joins Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah in ignoring GOP talking points to provide healthcare coverage to low-income citizens.
Republican politicians in Oklahoma probably should have seen this defeat coming despite President Trump's rhetoric and efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare has proven to be quite resilient and study after study has demonstrated that those states that adopted Medicaid expansion quickly have seen better health outcomes for their citizens,
Moreover, the law has generally become more popular as Americans have come to understand that it allows children to remain on their parent's health insurance policies until they are 26, mandates that insurance companies cover preventive care, protects individuals with preexisting conditions and has helped tens of millions to obtain health insurance coverage. And, in retrospect, the whole "take-over of health-care," creeping socialism argument just seems a bit silly. The government didn't take over anything; it just provided some much needed regulation of the insurance market and provided a means for more families to gain coverage through Medicaid expansion and the Obamacare insurance exchanges. None of it seems all that revolutionary anymore.
The next test will be in Missouri where voters will get a chance to expand Medicaid in August. There, too, Republican Governor Mike Parson opposes the expansion. Right now, all indications suggest that voters will ignore him.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content