One way to get away with murder is to have a legal cover for taking human life. That is what happened when 19 states chose to reject the Medicaid expansion when the Affordable Care Act became law six years ago.
As part of the ACA, all states were offered billions in Medicaid expansion. Republican governors balked because they said the payments, in three years, would be too steep for their states. They went to the Supreme Court, saying they should not be forced to take Medicaid.
The court agreed and gave them the legal cover to reject the Medicaid millions. So what? Well, studies from Harvard showed that refusing that funding to all 19 states meant 4.3 million Americans were deprived of health care. Ironically, those 4.3 million Americans were owed those millions because it came from their federal taxes.
In "Opting out of Medicaid: The Health and Financial Impacts," Sam Dickman's Health Affairs blog from Jan. 30, 2014, the authors go over the death toll, state by state, In those 19 states. Dickman shows that thousands of lives were lost by rejecting Medicaid: totaling the 19 states, over 7,000 lives a year were lost because of the decision to reject Medicaid. This is legalized murder in my opinion — deaths by blocking needed care.
Now the Republicans may get away with it again. Read "Repealing the Affordable Care Act will kill more than 43,000 people annually," Jan. 23, 2017, in The Washington Post. Another way to get rid of people, and get away with it, is to repeal the ACA and write a new health care bill signed by the President.
Early reports say the Senate version of Trumpcare would slash $700 billion from Medicaid. That is huge. According to David Himmelstein, M.D., and Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., that means a huge death toll: 43,000 annually.
But the killings, again, are all legal because it is a new health care bill. Will they get away with it again?
Robert L. Seward of Forest Grove is a
retired M.D. and a member of Mad As Hell Doctors, a group of physicians and others advocating for single-payer health care
in the U.S.