Smart People are trumpeting a Gallup announcement today that states which ‘like Obamacare’ [sic] are reducing their, and have a far lower, percentage of ‘uninsured people’ than states which don’t ‘like’ [sic] Obamacare.
What is this ‘like’ vs ‘not like’ distinction they are referring to? It mostly boils down to ‘expanding Medicaid’:
…states expanding Medicaid have had faster growth in the public program than those that have opted not to participate. States that do not expand Medicaid…
News flash: Medicaid is a welfare program. It is welfare. ‘Expanding Medicaid’, if it means anything, means giving more people more welfare.
The other (secondary) reason cited is that the ‘like’-Obamacare states have set up ‘exchanges’ [sic] and people have ‘bought’ [sic], i.e. obtained subsidies to partially or almost-wholly pay for, insurance plans on those ‘exchanges’. Which is, in such cases, just another form of (disguised, apparently, though not if you think about it for more than 2 seconds) welfare.
So boil it down and we are being given the jejune information that states which have expanded welfare programs are able to engineer the (good?) result of more people being on welfare.
It’s just that this information is being conveyed by everyone using different words, and so the listener – and perhaps even the speaker! – might not realize that this is what is being said. The most magic word involved here is ‘insurance’. ‘Getting people insured’ qua ‘insured’, regardless of details and cost and even the precise definition of what it means to be ‘insured’, is of course the Smart Person holy grail.
So fine. But what am I meant to cheer, or be impressed by, in this result? That is not so clear when you think about the actual mechanics of what has taken place.
What I gather has taken place in the states that ‘like’ [sic] Obamacare is this. Initially, some number of people were ‘uninsured’. To state this more neutrally, let’s think about what this means vis-a-vis their health care provision (which is what I actually care about; I don’t give a rat’s ass about ‘insurance’ as such): it means that if they needed health care, inevitably, it would be paid for one way or another by others – primarily, taxpayers. Then, they were given ‘insurance’ by Obamacare because their state ‘liked’ it. This either means they were (a) given Medicaid, i.e., will have their health care paid for by taxpayers, or (b) given a (presumably) subsidized ACA insurance plan on the exchange, i.e., will have their health care paid for by others – primarily, taxpayers.
In short: some number of people who previously had their health care paid for by taxpayers will now have their health care paid for by taxpayers. (But in, like, a different way, and with different paperwork.)
SUCCESS! Could anything be more obvious than that this miraculous transformation of these people from [being given taxpayer-funded health care] to [being given taxpayer-funded health care] must now be replicated at any cost all across the Union?
And if you disagree, you must not be a Smart Person.