Republicans Are Willing to Let Americans Suffer and Die to Undermine Obama's Presidency

Personal Health

Republican sabotage is killing Americans.

Never in the history of our nation has a political party tried so hard to actively sabotage a piece of legislation like today's Republican Party is doing with Obamacare.

Republicans in Washington and across the nation are so committed to sabotaging President Obama's presidency that they're willing to let people die.

While Republicans have failed 47 times to repeal Obamacare or at the very least defund it on the national level, their relentless sabotage efforts are working very well on the state level.

From Texas to Florida, Republicans are preventing millions of Americans from having access to affordable, life-saving health care.

Theda Skocpol, a professor of government and sociology at Harvard, has compiled data showing just how successful Republican sabotage efforts over Obamacare have been. 

As Skocpol points out, 23 states under Republican control have refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, and have refused to set up their own state-run health insurance exchanges.

As a result, those states have only enrolled a small fraction of their citizens eligible for Medicaid, and their enrollments in the federal health care exchange aren't much better.

Millions of Americans in these states are being denied access to life-saving health care thanks to Republican sabotage.

Similarly, in states that chose to only expand Medicaid, or to let the government run their health insurance exchanges but not expand Medicaid, enrollment numbers are just as bad.

Again, millions of Americans in those states don't have access to health care because Republicans are putting politics ahead of people's lives.

But compare enrollment numbers in Republican-controlled states to those in Democratically-controlled states, and the difference is staggering.

As Skocpol notes, states like California and New York, that have both expanded Medicaid under Obamacare and created their own state-run exchanges are having very few problems signing up their citizens up for health care.

These states are 43 percent of the way towards their projected Medicare enrollment numbers, and 37 percent of way towards their projected enrollment numbers in the exchanges.

Skocpol told TPM that, ""You go back to how the law was designed, for better or worse, it gave states a lot of responsibility. The states that have actually done things the way the law envisaged are the ones that are, at this early stage, doing the most toward those goals."

She added that, "But the 'Just Say No' states are putting all their lower income residents at risk, not just by refusing to expand Medicaid but also, in many cases, by failing to help people get subsidized private coverage through the exchange."

And Republican sabotage in these "Just Say No" states isn't just keeping Americans from having access to health care. It's keeping money out their wallets too.

In a recent Daily Take, I discussed how thanks to their refusal to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, Republican lawmakers in 25 states are preventing people in their states from getting their own tax dollars back in the form of expanded Medicaid. 

Since the government is picking up 100% of the costs of Medicaid expansion for the next three years, by refusing to expand the program, Republican lawmakers aren't saving their states any money. Instead, they are preventing their constituents from reaping the rewards of their tax dollars.

Even the Conservative-leaning fact-checking site PunditFact agreed with that claim, saying that, "We rate that statement Mostly True." 

The sabotage we are seeing today from the Republican Party is unprecedented, costly, and deadly.

Republicans lawmakers are willing to let people die, just to put a permanent stain on the Obama presidency.

And that's just wrong.

This article first appeared on TruthOut.

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