I always knew that red state Texas was stingy. Governor Perry has spent most of his decade in office turning down federal money to help the poor. But this paragraph really spelled out the extent of Texas stinginess.
The biggest losers are Medicaid and the poor. Very quietly, the Affordable Care Act introduced a revolutionary change: All poor people in America would get Medicaid. The new law would have extended Medicaid to everyone with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line ($23,050 a year for a family of four). Aren’t the poor already covered? That depends on where they live. In New York, most adults up to 150 percent of the poverty line are covered; in Texas, Medicaid reaches only to 26 percent of the poverty line — a family of four is not eligible if they earn, say, $9,000 a year. The court ruled that Congress may not require states to expand Medicaid. States can stick to their old Medicaid programs. Stingy states may choose to stay stingy. That part of the decision flew under the media radar. But it is a significant blow to liberals who had a simple way to grow benefits by expanding programs.