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..Anti-Medicaid states: Earning $11,000 is too much
By By CARLA K. JOHNSON and KELLI KENNEDY | Associated Press – 1 hr 10 mins ago......... ..In a Thursday, July 26, 2012 photo, …

....MIAMI (AP) — Sandra Pico is poor, but not poor enough.

She makes about $15,000 a year, supporting her daughter and unemployed husband. She thought she'd be able to get health insurance after the Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's health care law.

Then she heard that her own governor won't agree to the federal plan to extend Medicaid coverage to people like her in two years. So she expects to remain uninsured, struggling to pay for her blood pressure medicine.

"You fall through the cracks and there's nothing you can do about it," said the 52-year-old home health aide. "It makes me feel like garbage, like the American dream, my dream in my homeland is not being accomplished."

Many working parents like Pico are below the federal poverty line but don't qualify for Medicaid, a decades-old state-federal insurance program. That's especially true in states where conservative governors say they'll reject the Medicaid expansion under Obama's health law.

In South Carolina, a yearly income of $16,900 is too much for Medicaid for a family of three. In Florida, $11,000 a year is too much. In Mississippi, $8,200 a year is too much. In Louisiana and Texas, earning more than just $5,000 a year makes you ineligible for Medicaid.

Governors in those five states have said they'll reject the Medicaid expansion underpinning Obama's health law after the Supreme Court's decision gave states that option. Many of those hurt by the decision are working parents who are poor — but not poor enough — to qualify for Medicaid.

Republican Mitt Romney's new running mate, conservative Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, has a budget plan that would turn Medicaid over to the states and sharply limit federal dollars. Romney hasn't specifically said where he stands on Ryan's idea, but has expressed broad support for his vice presidential pick's proposals.

Medicaid now covers an estimated 70 million Americans and would cover an estimated 7 million more in 2014 under the Obama health law's expansion. In contrast, Ryan's plan could mean 14 million to 27 million Americans would ultimately lose coverage, even beyond the effect of a repeal of the health law, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation of Ryan's 2011 budget plan.

For now, most states don't cover childless adults, but all states cover some low-income parents. The income cutoff, however, varies widely from state to state.

Most states cover children in low-income families. Manuel and Sandra Pico's 15-year-old daughter is covered by Medicaid. But the suburban Miami couple can't afford private insurance for themselves and they make too much for Florida's Medicaid.

Manuel Pico, a carpenter, used to make more than $20,000 a year, but has struggled to find work in the last three years after the real estate market collapsed. He occasionally picks up day jobs or takes care of the neighbor's yard. Sandra Pico would like to work full time, but can't afford to pay someone to watch her 34-year-old sister, who has Down syndrome.

"No matter how hard I work, I'm not going to get anywhere," Sandra Pico said. "If you're not rich, you just don't have it."

In San Juan, Texas, 22-year-old Matthew Solis makes about $8,700 a year — too much to qualify for Medicaid in that state. Solis, a single father with joint custody of his 4-year-old daughter, said he works about 25 hours per week at a building supply store making minimum wage and is a full-time college student at the University of Texas-Pan American. He aspires to be a school counselor.

He recently sought medical care for food poisoning, visiting a federally funded clinic. But he doesn't see a doctor regularly because he can't afford private insurance. The new health law allows young adults to remain on their parents' insurance until age 26. But that doesn't help Solis, whose father is uninsured and whose mother died of leukemia when he was 8.

"I voted for him (Obama) because he promised we would have insurance," Solis said. "I'm pretty upset because I worked for Obama and I still don't have coverage."

His governor, Rick Perry, like Pico's governor, Rick Scott, is rejecting the Medicaid expansion. So Solis too is out of luck unless his circumstances dramatically change.

In most of the states where governors are rejecting or leaning against the expansion, the income level that disqualifies a parent from Medicaid is stunningly low. Only in New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie has said he's leaning against the expansion, is Medicaid available to parents with incomes at the poverty line and slightly above. New Jersey will cover a parent making $24,645 in a family of three.

Most states base Medicaid eligibility for parents on household income and how it compares to the federal poverty level, which was $18,530 for a family of three in 2011, the year being used for easier state-by-state comparisons.

In Louisiana, the eligibility cutoff for a working parent is 25 percent of federal poverty, or $4,633 for a family of three. In Nevada, it's 87 percent of the federal poverty level, or $16,121 for a family of three.

That's been the range in states where governors are likely saying no to expanded Medicaid.

In contrast, states where governors have said they'll expand Medicaid are more generous with working parents. The Medicaid eligibility cutoff ranges in those states from Washington's $13,527 to Minnesota's $39,840.

To be sure, some states with generous coverage for parents have been forced to cut back. Illinois, facing a financial crisis, ended coverage last month for more than 25,000 working parents. Even so, the state still covers working parents with incomes slightly higher than the poverty line.

The national health law's Medicaid expansion would start covering all citizens in 2014 who make up to roughly $15,400 for an individual, $30,650 for a family of four.

The federal government will pay the full cost of the Medicaid expansion through 2016. After that, the states will only pick up 5 percent of the cost through 2019, and 10 percent of the cost thereafter.

So why would any governor say no to such a great deal?

These governors are in favor of smaller government. In principle, they don't want the federal government to expand — even if that expansion would help their own citizens. And they say they don't want their own states paying any more of the Medicaid tab even if it's years down the road.

"We don't need the federal government telling us what to do when it comes to meeting the needs of the citizens of our states," Florida Gov. Rick Scott wrote recently in an opinion piece for U.S. News and World Report. "And we don't need Washington putting states on the hook for future budget obligations."

Also, many conservatives view Medicaid as a wasteful, highly flawed program, akin to no health coverage. Many doctors across the country won't treat Medicaid patients because the payments they receive are so low.

When the Supreme Court ruled that states could opt out of the health law's Medicaid expansion, it raised the chances for inequity at a time when more Americans have fallen from the middle class into poverty, said Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

"Why should a sick person in Connecticut have access to health care when they don't in Mississippi and Texas?" Sawhill asked. "We really do have a very high level of poverty as a result of the recession. And the safety net is weaker than ever."

Medicaid, the nation's single largest insurer, is a state and federal program created in 1965 as a companion program to welfare cash assistance to single parents. Today, the elderly and disabled cost nearly 70 cents of every Medicaid dollar, not the stereotypical single mother and her children.

What's largely unknown to many Americans is who is left out of the safety net, said Cheryl Camillo, a senior researcher at Mathematica Policy Research. "A huge chunk of the populace is not covered, even by Medicaid," she said.

The political rhetoric during a presidential campaign focuses on the middle class and leaves the uninsured working poor largely invisible, said Rand Corp. researcher Dr. Art Kellermann.

"We hear a lot of talk about unemployment and the aspirations of middle-class Americans. But we don't hear about the consequences of unemployment and the consequences of the collapsing middle class," Kellermann said. Losing health insurance is one of those consequences.

"It's like the public just doesn't want to believe anything else until it hits home," he said, "Until it's their own child, brother or parent that got laid off when they were 58, until then, it's not real."


AP Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson reported from Chicago. AP Writer Christopher Sherman contributed to this report from San Juan, Texas.



Republican's again, obstructing what is good, and needed by the people.

sad it is.


I think you are wrong Gypsy. I think you are blinded by your hatred for Republicans. You would rather hate Republicans and blame them for all that's wrong in the world than face the problems head-on with a solutions.

The possibility that a Republican may have the answers and solution to the healthcare issues this nation face is not to be considered in your line of thinking, because that would mean you would be considering a Republican point of view and solution. That would be blasphemy and sacrilegious to agree with a Republican, even if they are right.

So I propose that you care more about your political party and hated towards Republicans than you do for people like Sandra Pico they need some help and healthcare. You would rather turn your back on them if it means the solution comes from a Republican.

You have allowed yourself to focus on your displike for Republicans so much that is has become more important to you than the fix. You would rather everyone go down as Democrats than survive as Republicans. That is what is called "obsession" and psychopathic behavior. Many religious fanatics share the same psychological pattern, such as Jim Jones.


no I am not wrong, I noticed in the article that five states who have republican governors are obstructing expansion in medicaid,one reason is because it is in Affordable health care that Obama passed,,I care about the old, the poor the sick/dying, the middle class and so for no republican has stepped forward to help these people.I love and care about **America* and the Romney/ Ryan ticket isn't looking good for us common people. Republican have had years to fix healthcare, they didn't congress now are doing nothing they are on their 5week break,they wouldn't even sign the farmbill before they left. then the governor of where Sandra pico lives should embrace the healthcare act that helps people like Sandra,I believe is repub?psychopathic behavior not that is hilarious!

Quote//These governors are in favor of smaller government. In principle, they don't want the federal government to expand — even if that expansion would help their own citizens. And they say they don't want their own states paying any more of the Medicaid tab even if it's years down the road. I suggest you reread the article.

Last edited by gypsy on Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:54 pm; edited 2 times in total


They do not think Obama helathcare plan is a good plan. They have investigated it way more than you will ever understand. But that doesn't bother you, because they are Republicans and the evil side, so they must be wrong.

The healthcare problems are life threatening issues for some people, and decisions made for the distribution of healthcare should not be biased towards any political party. They should be based on the solution to the problem insuring everyone is taken care of, not which political party you belong to.


the republicans are wrong, read the article.. they Pubs want do anything and uphold the expansion even if it would help the people, I call that very evil.. and because it is Obama care,they have all stated they will do nothing to to help Obama even if it kills people, and our country. most of America despise the repub, they have about a 9% approval rating..

Last edited by gypsy on Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:00 pm; edited 1 time in total


I rest my case.


maybe this will clear it up some


Obama’s Medicare Reforms Expanded Benefits For Seniors August 14, 2012, 3:57 PM 1478

The Romney campaign’s new ad blitz reinforces its latest attack — that President Obama cut Medicare spending by $716 billion — with an ominous warning to seniors. But the Affordable Care Act’s cuts and other Medicare reforms don’t touch benefits, they target waste in provider payments.

In fact, the totality of Obama’s Medicare reforms expand benefits for seniors and lower out-of-pocket costs. The Affordable Care Act actually enhances Medicare benefits by closing the prescription drug coverage gap known as the “doughnut hole” and expanding free preventive services, including an annual wellness visit.

The Romney ad misleadingly implies that seniors will take a hit. “You paid in to Medicare for years. Every paycheck,” a narrator says. “Now, when you need it, Obama has cut $716 billion from Medicare.” The ad also ignores the bipartisan nature of the cuts: Congressional Republicans voted overwhelmingly in 2011 and 2012 to sustain them in the budget written by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), now Romney’s running mate. In 2008, John McCain proposed similar cuts during his presidential campaign, a move Obama ironically criticized at the time.

The Obama campaign immediately fired back, calling the ad “dishonest and hypocritical.”

The Romney ad is an effort to deflect criticism of Ryan’s Medicare plan, which would replace the coverage guarantee with a voucher for seniors to buy their own private or government insurance plan. Republican strategists privately worry the plan will be a major liability.

Obama’s cuts add eight years on the life of Medicare, according to the Congressional Budget Office, largely by reducing reimbursement rates to hospitals, prescription drugs under Medicaid and private insurance plans in Medicare Advantage. The AARP, as well as hospital and drug industries, endorsed the Affordable Care Act despite the cuts.

The cuts to Medicare Advantage plans have resulted in higher enrollment and lower average premiums in 2011 and 2012, according to official figures. Reforms closing the “doughnut hole,” which were partly funded by the cuts, have also saved seniors money on prescription drugs.

In addition, the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion offers seniors greater access to long-term care and other services that Medicare does not provide.

The Department of Health and Human Services projects that beneficiaries of traditional Medicare will save roughly $4,200 over 10 years as a result of the Affordable Care Act. HHS expects that the law will also save seniors between $3,000 and $16,000 on average on prescription drugs, depending on their costs.

“The savings his ad attacks do not cut a single guaranteed Medicare benefit, and Mitt Romney embraced the very same savings when he promised he’d sign Paul Ryan’s budget,” said Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith in a statement. “Because the president is eliminating subsidies to insurance companies and cutting waste and fraud, we’ve extended the life of Medicare by eight years. The truth is that the Romney-Ryan budget would end Medicare as we know it: People with Medicare would be left with nothing but a voucher in place of the guaranteed benefits they rely on today.”


Romney attempted to have all political ads fact checked before airing and Obama refused. Just like the lie about the woman dying from cancer was Romneys fault. A Obama lie and a very pathetic one.
So is Obama borrowing 716 Billion from Medicare to finance Obamacare.
I have always hated politics because of all the he said she said and most of it is lies. I am for who ever can get the job done. Not embarrass the country and take care of all classes not just upper and middle, the lower class is taking the brunt on cutbacks now.
As far as the Medicaid program the governors refusing are looking to the future when the states have to pick up the tab Washington started . Good for them


no he is not. borrowing from medicare.if you read the article.. maybe fact check it!! Romney is lying..have you got anything to back up your story?I have backed my articles


Yes Obama tells lies. He will not get a second term. He will be a 1 term president.


Really now!! this makes me wonder,,how people so change their minds,,you have to stand for something or fall by the way.. if you can substantiate one good republican attempt in the last 20 years to change health care, and bring us up to foreign countries who have better? and another note to make sure all people in America(legal) let me make sure of that fair share to improve their lives,,all pay equal taxes,and benefit from what the wealthy are given,repubs have not done that since Eisenhower

I have many things to touch on in all the responses..will save them ,because I will do more research,,I do not post blindly,I read every post.. show those lies Tyler?


Friends don't call their friends psychopaths




back at ya ~~


I missed all of this convo , funny shit.


sure is//maybe a new start is coming?? where you can forget your hatred of me,,for no reason,,is this possible?


yes it is,on your part


yes it tis!! HAHAHA especially since you showed your own party blocking people who need this service!!five stat,, was Louisiana one of them?


Jesus Gyp 3 in a row that make no sense, come on post better than one liners. I replyed to your PM's so why the questions ??
I have already answered my opinion of the reason the Govs declined the funding.

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