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Letter: Medicaid expansion will help keep health care costs down

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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 12:00 am

It is interesting to read the hysteria about the cancellation of health insurance policies on the individual market. This has no effect on the 80 percent of Americans covered by employers or Medicare. Fifteen percent are uninsured and the remaining 5 percent are on the individual market.

On this market, only 17 percent kept their insurance two years in a row, and before Obamacare, 80 percent were canceled annually. What is happening now is nothing new, and the cause for the most part is not Obamacare. This is normal for this market, but does not stop our right-wing friends from pretending the world as we know it is coming to an end.

The reality is, the vast majority of these people will get better insurance at a better price when they get the website working. Some will pay more, but they will be in a vast minority.

What’s more interesting to me is the 5.4 million people who are being denied health insurance because Republican governors refuse the Medicaid expansion, which costs these states nothing for three years and then the states only pay 10 percent of the cost. In these states, the cost of everyone else’s insurance will go up to pay for those emergency visits forced on these people who are being denied Medicaid. This will put an added strain on the hospitals in these states, and some will go out of business.

Gov. Kasich, a conservative Republican, accepted the Medicaid expansion. He said, “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 is going to ask you what you did for the poor.” That it is good for Ohio financially did not hurt.

Our Christian letter writers are always writing screeds on the social issues of the day. As some are against this Medicaid expansion, it would be interesting to hear the reasoning for denying people basic health care by not accepting the expansion. It would be the Christian thing to do.

John Lucas

Lodi

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