Romney's Medicaid Cuts Would Kill RomneyCare In Massachusetts

A blog about business and economics.
Oct. 18 2012 9:51 AM

Romney's Medicaid Cuts Would Kill RomneyCare In Massachusetts

There are lots of important issues that aren't getting talking about in the 2012 campaign, but the most frustrating of them is Medicaid. This is one of the issues where the candidates are furthest apart, and they do keep discussing adjacent issues about tax and budget policy. But the Medicaid gap is so significant that, as Brian Beutler points out, Romney's Medicaid policies would likely kill off his signature achievement as governor of Massachusetts:

Unlike the ACA, the Massachusetts law has two separate markets — one for people living under 300 percent of the poverty level and thus qualify for insurance subsidies; one for people above that threshold.
The subsidized pool is called Commonwealth Care. For that market to work, Massachusetts relies on the federal government, via Medicaid, to cover half the cost of the generous subsidies it provides to lower income individuals. If Romney were to block grant Medicaid and cut its spending as dramatically as he’s signaled he would, Massachusetts would slowly lose those dollars.
Advertisement

This is really just the tip of the iceberg. Most of the important issues the candidates aren't talking about are subjects—from drug prohibition to climate change to patents—where the candidates simply don't have sharply contrasting agendas. But on Medicaid they really do. If Obama is re-elected, we're going to see most states vastly expand Medicaid coverage delivering health insurance to a huge swathe of lower-income America. If Romney is re-elected, we're going to see sharp cuts in federal Medicaid funding leading to huge rollbacks in coverage for disabled people, middle class nursing home patients, and the working poor.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Scotland Votes to Remain in U.K.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Can Democrats Keep Counting on Republicans to Offend Women as a Campaign Strategy?

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.