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With Congress set to adjourn for the summer, Republican leaders are hoping to reprise the recess of 2009, when furious tea partiers armed with incendiary signs, bogus GOP talking points and occasionally guns (though not the truth) ran roughshod over town hall meetings nationwide. But along with their streams of sound bites and planted questions, the centerpiece of the Republican summer strategy to go "on the offense" against Obamacare is what planners are calling "Emergency Health Care Town Hall" meeting designed to showcase "the negative effects of the health care law and the House Republicans' plan to dismantle it.

But as conservative Byron York and liberal Greg Sargent agree, that tactic could very backfire on the GOP. After all, as the chart aboveshows, it is only because of Republican congressmen and governors that millions of Americans in the reddest of states will remain without health insurance in 2014.

Though they have voted 37 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Congressional Republicans have yet to offer their own proposal to replace it. But 26 GOP-led states sued to overturn the ACA, the Supreme Court gave them one small victory. States could opt out of the expansion of Medicaid to cover American earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Now, 24 states have chosen to turn their backs on billions in federal funding and millions of their own residents.

In June, the authors of "The Uninsured After Implementation of the Affordable Care Act: A Demographic and Geographic Analysis" tallied up the Republican body count. For each of the 50 states, the study how many residents would gain health insurance by of the 50 states opting in or out of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.

The numbers are staggering. In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry denounced Obamacare Medicaid expansion as a "fool's errand." But his foolishness in opting out means an extra 1.9 million Texans will needlessly go without health insurance in state where 24 percent of all residents—and 30 percent between the ages of 18 and 64—lack coverage. In Florida, where the GOP legislature is rebuffing Republican Gov. Rick Scott's choice to accept the windfall from Washington, another million residents will be left uncovered. (In contrast, over 300,000 more Arizonans will gain insurance, thanks to a rare showing of common sense by Gov. Jan Brewer.) Next door neighbors Minnesota and Wisconsin provide another useful case study. While Democrat Mark Dayton will be cutting the ranks of the uninsured by almost half in his state, in Madison Republican Scott Walker is leaving an estimated 182,000 folks out in the cold.

As you'll see below, those numbers aren't lost on Republicans like Gov. Brewer and Louisiana Rep. Charles Boustany.

Despite overwhelming GOP opposition in her state legislature, Brewer endorsed the Medicaid expansion, explaining "It's pro-life, it's saving lives, it is creating jobs, it is saving hospitals." Two weeks ago, Dr. Boustany lamented that in his state Gov. Bobby Jindal had decided to reject the ACA funding and with it, leave 300,000 in Louisiana uninsured. In Ohio, Republican Gov. John Kasich continues to press his GOP legislative majority to accept the Medicaid expansion that would cover an additional 366,000 Buckeye State residents, declaring, "I believe it's a matter of life and death." As Kasich warned his GOP colleagues in June:

"When you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he's probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small, but he's going to ask you what you did for the poor. You'd better have a good answer."
Their answer—that Republicans must oppose the Affordable Care Act because President Obama supported it—like won't be sufficient to gain entry through the Pearly Gates. Thanks to GOP rejection of Medicaid expansion, roughly 11.5 million of their constituents will needlessly remain without health coverage. (Preliminary data also suggest that the blue states running their own health insurance exchanges will be able to deliver lower than expected premiums.)  Making matters worse, John Boehner's efforts to repeal the entirety of the Affordable Care Act—capping profits for private insurers,  shrinking the Medicare prescription drug donut hole, enacting prohibitions on using pre-existing conditions to deny or rescind coverage—would mean all Americans continue to be at the mercy of the insurance industry. And as the numbers clearly show, today health care is worst where the GOP polls best.

That is the real Republican health care emergency.

Originally posted to Jon Perr on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 01:14 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Republican pols are literally killing their base (5+ / 0-)

    but they do it anyway because the corporations that they serve are immortal.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 01:29:43 PM PDT

  •  It WILL work unless..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    .....we get off our asses and go to these town halls, armed with truth and passion.  

    If we don't, we cede the narrative to the RWNJ's who will be 'entertaining' to the lazy MSM.  Our apathy will be part of the story unless we show the hell up.  

    So I proposed that we all commit to going to one town hall.  Just one.  Take an hour, go to, get some facts and be heard.  Come up with a couple of soundbites, not get mired in nuance.  Fight them at their own game.  

    Tea Party sucks the air out of everything because we allow it to happen with our complacency.  

  •  Rep. Alan Grayson D-09 FL called it right... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the first time about the repub health care plan in his first term:

     photo alan-grayson.jpg

    "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 02:41:50 PM PDT

  •  has anybody seen my dkos? (0+ / 0-)

    ...there was a time when a compelling, hard-hitting diary that pounded the repubs into powder like this one would have 500 comments in 30 minutes.

    "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 02:55:32 PM PDT

    •  This place is more about internecine battles now. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The "bankster" bullshit started it in my opinion.   The President was falsely labeled as a Wall St crony here.

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 05:36:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What need for comments... (0+ / 0-)

      ...when I'm fully in agreement with the diary.  There's not much to add to what's already been said.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 07:09:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  so my comment was more worthy of... (0+ / 0-)

        ...your response than this diary was? Hmm. I love that logic: "Don't comment if you agree. Comment only if you disagree-or have nothing else to add". Gotcha. I'd rather bring back the old days here of heated discussions and debates where issues were hashed out in the comment section, and diaries weren't accepted or taken as the final word. Have we become nothing more than cheerleaders and pom poms? I'm not buying that. I never rec'd a diary-or any comment for the sake of mojo. If I rec'd anybody, you better believe they earned it.

        "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:10:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seems like you want a fight for the sake... (0+ / 0-)

          ...of having a fight.

          I see plenty of contentious diaries filled with comments on issues where there is broad disagreement here.  Anything involving Obama's security policies, the NSAs, or drones are good examples of where we see diaries filled with comments going back and forth between those who agree and disagree with the diary in question.

          But in this issue, there just isn't much flame bait.  Even those who feel that Obama should have fought harder for a public option recognize that the Republican response is entirely nuts and counterproductive.

          Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

          by TexasTom on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 06:27:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  true that... (0+ / 0-)

            ...I love a good debate. But I hate to argue for the sake of argument or being contentious. Call it being frustrated when I see a great diary that illicits or garners so few comments or responses one way or the other. Maybe the readers just left the battlefield-the other diaries you spoke of that had so many debates-and they were just catching their breath. That was my own observation. You don't have to agree. That's ok. Enjoy the rest of your day Texas Tom!

            "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

            by ImpeachKingBushII on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 07:09:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  it won't get the GOP many votes (0+ / 0-)

    the dynamic is very different, and they are pushing into their own base areas.

    if Obamacare works even marginally, it's just going to hurt the GOP states more.

  •  Tie The Issue To Declining Red State Life Spans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ....the media is catching onto the bare bones of the story, but someone needs to push this message that the GOP is actively killing its base.  

    Men are so necessarily mad that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 05:46:45 PM PDT

  •  Headdesk (4+ / 0-)

    "Congressional Republicans have yet to offer their own proposal to replace it"

    It IS their own proposal. It is Romneycare.

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 05:55:39 PM PDT

  •  If the GOP is planning a repeat of the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, micsimov

    astroturfed Town Hall shoutfests of 2009, do we have any plan to counteract them?  Last time, congress people were caught unawares, never dreaming that lunatics would come out in such numbers to shut down any discussion of a plan whose very goals were to offer help to these shouters.  The press ate it up like candy, giving free publicity every single day to these giant tantrums.  This time around, we all know what to expect.  What's the Democratic counter move?

    "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    by SottoVoce on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 06:12:04 PM PDT

    •  I don't know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      micsimov, earwulf

      or really care what elected officials may want to do.  I'm sure they have professional expertise, personal or hired, in such matters.

      To grassroots progressives, liberals, activists and radicals I suggest being organized, being aggressive, being fun, and being there.  Don't feel constrained to maintain the establishment, you have no such obligation.  If the establishment is to be defended, let it do its own work.  Define and defend your own self-interest in sharp, quick, crystal-clear images. You have the right and power to be a blast of fresh air, a blast this country is in dire need of, but you can only liberate others if you liberate yourself first.  

      One thing that can take the weakness and dysfunction of the system and make it a strength:  you can write the story for today's lazy media.  You need to be willing to put in the time and effort and consistency, you have to be creative in coming up with fresh story lines, but if you take the time you can write most local reporters' stories for them.   Once you control the narrative, you have to really screw up not to get the ending you want.  

      "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" ~Dr. Samuel Johnson

      by ActivistGuy on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 06:34:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the biggest problem is (0+ / 0-)

    that the billions of dollars in Fed Gov money for the expanded medicaid coverage is only for 3 years.  My State would have to increase taxes by 10% or more to keep covering the cost.  Right now the state is struggling to keep the pension fund funded.

    We have not seen much growth in the economy to increase tax revenues to cover the cost even with a three year funding of 90% of the cost.  Then the State would do what it always does, dump 25% of the cost on the local area (which would hike up our property taxes - already very high) and the rest would be higher income taxes (already very high). No corporation is going to pay the tax. No super rich is either.

    So some states simply point to the cost and say "we can't cover this."  (and if you take the Fed Gov money for the expansion, you have to maintain the program after the Fed Gov money stops.)

    This is why the ACA sucks. (one of the reasons)  It should be a FEDERAL Medicaid program that takes over all the state medicaid's and runs them.  This would free up the state budgets, let Medicaid expand to cover anyone at any level the Fed Gov sets.

    Why 133% of poverty? because that was what they could best guess would be the highest they could mandate with out all 50 states saying no way.  If it was a federal program it could be 200% of poverty level, freeing up a family of 4 making less than $47k a year from paying health insurance costs as they could be put on Medicaid.

    This would be a big boost to the economy.  The Fed Gov could better fund the program out right with the increased income tax revenue (medical insurance costs are deductible, if you have medicaid you don't have anything to deduct), and the cost would be spread across 310 million people vs 4.2 million and would be much smaller. (I'm not going to suggest loop hole cutting because that won't happen)

    Stupid question hour starts now and ends in five minutes.

    by DrillSgtK on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 06:49:40 PM PDT

    •  The federal govt would pay all costs (0+ / 0-)

      For the first three years, and then gradually decrease their funding to cover 90% by 2020.  This is not going to land in the states' laps.

      "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

      by SottoVoce on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 06:54:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really good example of the disinformation ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... being spread by the GOP. The fact is that states like FL will spend much more funding uncovered health care (emergency room visits) than their portion of the Medicaid expansion would ever cost.

      I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

      by ObamOcala on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 06:59:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      micsimov, Pete Dunkelberg

      ...that what you proposed would not have been able to pass both the House and the Senate.

      It's easy to come up with ways in which the ACA could have been better when we don't have to come up with a way to actually get it through the political process.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 07:11:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Chart leaves off Michigan... (0+ / 0-)

    Which Obama won. We do have Republican Governor Snyder who wants the expansion. He can't convince the tea party legislature.......yet. Fingers crossed.

  •  I'm not a lawyer, (0+ / 0-)

    but isn't there an Equal Protection argument here? These people are being denied equal protection in a certain, very concrete sense.

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