In this video segment, John Oliver explains how the Supreme Court hurt millions of Americans by not upholding the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, why elections matter, and how Republicans in 20 states are turning away millions of dollars from the federal government. The government money is intended to cover 90 percent of the cost of health insurance for people with low incomes.
By rejecting these funds designed to pay for an expansion of Medicaid to people with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($27,724 for a family of three), the states deprive more than three million of their residents 0f health care coverage. The median Medicaid eligibility income in the states that have not expanded Medicaid is 44 percent of the federal poverty level ($8, 840 for a family of three) and childless adults are not eligible even at that income level. And, unfortunately, the ACA did not contemplate that the Supreme Court would allow states to reject Medicaid expansion, so it does not offer subsidies to people with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
There are few options for people caught in this health insurance coverage gap, other than moving to a state that has expanded Medicaid or taking on more work. For a primer on Medicaid and why it’s important to all of us, click here.