Key Point: "Here’s what’s baffling. The bipartisan study committee also endorsed the expansion, and Senate Democrats accommodated the majority’s wishes by agreeing to require newly eligible Medicaid recipients to purchase coverage on the private market through the insurance exchange established under the Affordable Health Care Act — yet Senate Republicans still balked. Why? They wanted the move to the private market to occur within a year, while Democrats insisted that that simply wouldn’t be enough time because a federal waiver was required. Yes, it’s odd that Senate Republicans would demonstrate that much faith in the efficiency of the federal bureaucracy, but what’s truly puzzling is that Senate Republicans would regard the time frame as so important as to be worth denying thousands of people health coverage. Democrats had already yielded on the principle that the newly insured get private coverage. So why was making that happen in a year rather than two so important, particularly after Democrats made a convincing case that one year wasn’t realistic?"
Published in print: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
But mostly it’s an investment in people’s lives — and the sooner the Senate can figure out how to make it, along with other Medicaid benefits, available to a greater number of low-income residents, the better.