There’s a lot of fail here, so hang on tight.
You probably remember Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s loathing and contempt for the 47%. Well, it’s back. And true to form, that 47% is a lot of the Republican base.
Sure, Republicans are hurting poor Southern blacks and Hispanics with their refusal to expand Medicaid, per their intentions. More poor uninsured adults reside in the South than in other regions, and the South is where the majority (11 of the 25) of states have rejected Medicaid expansion portion of ObamaCare, meant to help the poor. Nearly 80% of the people being screwed over by the GOP poutrage live in the South.
But they are also hurting 47% of poor whites, according to a new Kaiser study released today. Nationally, 2.2 million uninsured adults who fall into the “coverage gap” created by the Republicans refusing to expand Medicaid are white non-Hispanic – that’s 47%.
These are people whose incomes are above Medicaid eligibility limits but below the lower limit for Marketplace premium tax credits. And here’s one for the Tea Partiers—only 27% of those being screwed over nationally are black and 21% are Hispanic.
The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray…
To wit, from Kaiser (my bold):
Nationally, about half (47%) of uninsured adults in the coverage gap are White non-Hispanics, 21% are Hispanic, and 27% are Black (Figure 3). However, the race and ethnicity of people in the coverage gap also reflects differences in the racial/ethnic composition between states moving forward with the Medicaid expansion and states not planning to expand. Several states that have large Hispanic populations (e.g., California, New York, and Arizona) are moving forward with the expansion, while other states with large Black populations (e.g., Florida, Georgia, and Texas) are not. As a result, Blacks account for a slightly higher share of people in the coverage gap compared to the total poor adult uninsured population, while Hispanics account for a slightly lower share. The racial/ethnic characteristics of the population in the coverage gap vary widely by state (see Table 1), mirroring the underlying characteristics of the state population.
Nonelderly adults of all ages fall into the coverage gap (Figure 3). Notably, over half are middle-aged (age 35 to 54) or near elderly (age 55 to 64). Adults of these ages are likely to have increasing health needs, and research has demonstrated that uninsured people in this age range may leave health needs untreated until they become eligible for Medicare at age 65.5
So the GOP took aim at blacks and ending up hitting 47% of poor whites, over half of whom are middle aged or elderly – their base. This is exactly what we discovered after Mitt Romney made his comments about the 47%. Those people were his base.
Mitt Romney thought he was talking about lazy, poor, and probably in his mind, black Obama supporters when he claimed that there are, “47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing,” but the truth is that the majority of food stamp recipients are white.
Republicans are well aware of this reality but they don’t care – and apparently neither does their base, who are so misled by the talking points on Fox “News” that they’ll find a way to blame the black guy for being nothing but collateral damage to the Southern Strategists.
We can thank the activisty conservative Supreme Court for this fail, since a June 2012 Supreme Court ruling made the Medicaid expansion optional for states. This is not how ObamaCare was designed to work. The Republican sabotage and the collateral damage continue.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.