Thanks to Republican-controlled states choosing to not expand Medicaid, stuff like this happens.
Thanks Republicans! Married 33 Years, Couple Forced To Separate For Health Insurance Reasons (Video)
Sometimes a story is so damn stupid you just can’t figure it out. The Tennessean ran a story recently about Linda and Larry Drain, a Maryville couple who should be enjoying their retirement years together. Instead, she has gone home to her mother after 33 years of marriage. As is often the case money was at the heart of the problem.
You see, Linda suffers with epilepsy and is not able to work. She receives Supplemental Security Income and has health care through TennCare, the states Medicaid managed care program. Larry was a social worker most of his career with his last job being at a local hospital and offering no benefits. He took early retirement at age 62.
Because of Larry’s status as retired and drawing social security, the household income changed. In fact, it went down significantly, but because of politics, Linda is no longer eligible for SSI. So she and Larry separated so she could keep her SSI and TennCare. Don’t ask me to explain it. The Tennessean did a great job trying to explain the problem but it is so stupid it is beyond understanding.
Mr. and Mrs. Drain fall into the Medicaid gap, too poor to qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, but too rich for Medicaid. How can you be too poor to get a subsidy, who the heck are they for anyway?
Republican governors and legislators across old Dixie have dug in their heels against expanding Medicaid leaving some 4 million people without the insurance the ACA was designed to deliver. Tennessee Gov. Haslam “believes that more people having access to health care is a good thing, but you have to do it in a way that controls cost and provides better outcomes”. But he refused to expand Medicaid? Stupid.
Cost controls, better out comes, gee; I wonder how we could achieve those goals? Maybe single payer universal coverage like the rest of the civilized world.
According to an October 2012, report on PBS the United States spends on average $8,233 per person per year on health care. That’s more than two and a half times what other wealthy countries such as France, Sweden and the United Kingdom pay.
The Republican Party leaders go on and on about family values, the dignity of work, being responsible for yourself and have a never-ending litany of things other folks should do to help themselves. But Linda and Larry Drain are suffering as a direct result of Republican policy.
Medicaid should be expanded throughout all 50 states as a temporary measure until we can elect leaders with backbone enough to put an end to for profit medicine and institute real health care reform with universal coverage for all Americans.
Watch a report below.