Biology in the News Explained

Republican governors support your right to make other people pay for your health care

An analysis by the nonpartisan Urban Institute uses a model to predict the impact of the Affordable Care Act by state.  Because many of the reforms have not yet been implemented, they have to make some assumptions, but where available they use empirical data to inform the model.

Here is their model’s state map of projected decrease in uninsured.

Interestingly, a quick contingency table analysis shows that states are no or more likely to be suing based on the percentage of their citizens who will benefit from becoming insured – one might have expected that those with the least to gain might be more likely to sue.

Of course, the lawsuits are about ideology, not economics; although those trying to repeal the law question the Congressional Budget Office‘s assumptions in their calculations that the ACA will ultimately save money, it’s a sure bet that those same people are just as quick to tout the non-partisan status of the CBO when it gives them results that support their agenda.

Still, given how many uninsured there are in Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, Alaska, Georgia, and Texas (Montana would be on the list too if we currently had a Republican governor), and how much more all the citizens of these states will benefit from the ACA than those of most other states, it’s appalling that these governors and attorneys general are spending that apparently oh-so-precious taxpayer money playing political games instead of trying to help their citizens who want insurance get it. You’d also imagine that these “libertarians” might want embrace a means to stop forcing those who have insurance to pay for all the freeloaders. But personal freedom isn’t actually on their agenda – only the destruction of a Democratic president, collateral damage be damned.

Then again, sacrificing actual people at the alter of ideology is obviously nothing new, nor is the hypocrisy of most of the suing states, which so far have been perfectly happy to help themselves to funds allocated by it.

It’s already clear that this report will be either ignored or scorned by those who believe it is your God-given right to be left at the side of the road to die after a car accident. (Actually, they aren’t so heartless – what they really believe is that it’s your God-given right to make everyone else pay for all of your ER medical care, whenever it happens to come up.) But download it from the Urban Institute for grins anyway.


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