CBO’s Estimates of post-SCOTUS Obamacare

Ok, I thought I would stick to the lighthearted DC-on-TV blogging for today. But then on my way out I saw this post at Wonkblog.

The non-partisan spreadsheet warriors at the Congressional Budget Office calculated the effects of the Supreme Court decision that states could opt out of the act’s Medicaid expansion.

Give it to me straight, doc.

An estimated 3 million people might not get insurance coverage, cutting $84 billion out of the federal government’s outlay.

I would like to emphasize the 3 million fewer people covered. Not the $84B reduction in federal spending.

It’s not about what we spend. It’s about the value of our investments. It’s about what we, as a society, feel is worth spending money on.

I believe that people should have health insurance. [Well, actually, I believe that the insurance system itself is bogus and we should go single payer, to save money, improve outcomes, facilitate innovation (all those would-be entrepreneurs who can’t afford to lose their employer-paid coverage), and begin to mitigate the growing social crisis of vast income inequality. Ahem. Blasphemy, I know, in the US.]

In any case, Medicaid keeps people healthier and happier than they would be without coverage.

People with health insurance are better students, workers, leaders, and family members.

Health care and nutrition matter more to a student’s success than her teachers.

We should pay for universal health care.

If you’re in charge of a state that wants to opt out of the Medicaid expansion for political reasons, why don’t you take 20 minutes to listen to what it’s like to lose health insurance. To buy blood pressure medication from people on the street. To break one’s hand and watch it heal on its own.

But maybe those are the kinds of people that don’t vote? Or maybe the PPACA is too confusing for people to get riled up about? Or maybe people who already have a tough time with the health care industry weren’t expecting anything different anyway?

Maybe they’re not worth the investment?

If states could help 3 million people get the health insurance that all three branches of our government agreed they should get, why wouldn’t they?

Right. You know why.

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