Medicaid expansion has a powerful positive impact on state level economies, as well as (obviously) on the well-being of the beneficiaries. Delong tells us that on one dollar of federal money coming into the state leads to a six dollars increase in the regional economic product. Among other effects, it puts money into the pockets of physicians, who used to be big contributors to Republican politicians. Sayeth DeLong:
The only way I can find to understand the pattern of Medicaid expansion nullification is a truly extraordinary unconcern on the part of Red State politicians with their poor–whether working or non-working–and substantial insulation as a result of the rise of right-wing billionaires from financial pressures put on them by the doctors who used to be the financial fund-raising bedrock base of the Republican Party. Plus remarkable unconcern with the the health of their state-level economies. But even if they do not care about the well-being of their citizens, they should care about competing for the votes of the non-working and the working poor, shouldn’t they? Or do they just think that the poor are low-information voters, and that those who pull the lever for the Republicans will not be unhornswoggled by looking across the Missouri-Illinois or the Tennessee-Kentucky or the Mississippi-Arkansas or the Texas-New Mexico state line and thinking: “Hmmmm…”
The ineffectiveness of the voice of the doctors I just do not understand. It goes against all theories of rational-choice political economy, it does.
I have expressed similar bafflement here in the past. How can you screw over your own state, hurt working poor people and health care workers -- who include both low wage and highly affluent people -- and harm your state's overall economy, and get elected and re-elected? One despairs for democracy.