On Nov. 3, 2015 the state of Kentucky held a gubernatorial election. Republican Matt Bevin, who ran a campaign based on the promise to destroy Medicaid expansion in his state, was elected the new governor of Kentucky.
The Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare, covers the poor, uninsured Americans who didn’t before qualify for Medicaid, but do under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. According to Kentucky.gov, as of 2013, over 300,000 Kentuckians became insured under the expanded Federal Medicaid health insurance program.
But on Nov. 3 the people of Kentucky voted. And Bevin won.
Now, the people of Kentucky, including the ones who voted for him, are worried they will lose their healthcare.
But, wait a minute. Didn’t I just write that the guy ran on a platform to destroy Medicaid expansion, thus taking insurance away from people?
Yes, I wrote that. And yes, making people uninsured was his promise. And yes, he still won.
I read an article, written by MSNBC journalist Steve Benen, about a male and female Kentuckian, who are currently insured through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, yet voted for the politician who vowed to take it away.
Here’s what the man had to say:
“[I]t doesn’t look to me as if [Bevin] understands,” the man said, struggling with the consequences of his own vote. “Without this little bit of help these people are giving me, I could probably die.”
Here’s what the woman had to say:
“If anything changed with our insurance to make it more expensive for us, that would be a big problem,” Botner, a community college student, said…”Just with the blood tests, you’re talking maybe $1,000 a year without insurance.
Why the hell did these people vote for a man who clearly wasn’t looking out for their best interest?
“I’m just a die-hard Republican,” the woman said.
Those are choice words because sick people do ‘die hard’ when their health care is taken away from them.
The article goes on to state that in one specific county in Kentucky, where most people are signed up for Medicaid, the majority of those people also voted for the guy who openly shared his plans to take it all away.
As I read this article, I had a real hard time understanding why people would make themselves vulnerable like that, and risk losing their health insurance, especially if they’re sick. And then I read a quote from an Owsley County judge, and it became oh so clear.
The judge said:
“To be honest with you, a lot of folks in Owsley County went to the polls and voted against gay marriage and abortion, and as a result, I’m afraid they voted away their health insurance.”
Okay. Got it. But still.
Gay marriage doesn’t directly affect anyone’s life, but the people getting married. Abortion is a personal choice a woman makes for her own body. But that too, doesn’t directly affect anyone else’s life.
Yet, the risk of losing one’s health insurance took a backseat to gay marriage and abortion. And why shouldn’t it? It’s not like health insurance directly affects one’s own life….oh wait.
I want to empathize with the Kentuckians who voted for Bevin, I really do, because I hate seeing people suffer. But it’s so hard to feel sympathy for them because all I want to ask is, “How can you guys be so stupid?” and “Was standing up against gay marriage and abortion worth compromising your health?”
It’s really simple, people.
Stop voting against your own self-interest.
Bevin takes office on Dec. 8 and Kentuckians will find out if their newly elected governor will make good on a promise many hope he will not keep.
Until then, Kentuckians will just have to hold their breath and pray for the best. But don’t hold your breath for too long, your oxygen levels will go down and your carbon monoxide levels will go up, and soon, you may not have the insurance to cover that.
You can only blame yourself, as well as the heartless politician threatening to take it all away.
If you’d like to read he full article by Steve Benen, please click the link below.