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Duly Noted

Tuesday, Sep 13, 2011, 7:55 am

Republicans Laugh at the Uninsured; California Expands Medicaid

By Lindsay Beyerstein

For illustration only, no known connection to Medicaid.   Presidio of Monterey: DLIFLC & USAG's, Creative Commons.

The audience at last night's Republican debate errupted in cheers at the prospect of leaving a gravely injured but uninsured young man to to die. Presidential hopeful Ron Paul, M.D. suggested that workhouses churches could help out.

Meanwhile, California is expanding Medicaid to cover more poor, childless adults. The state has swung into action three years before the deadline imposed by the Affordable Care Act. As a result, over half a million Californians who didn't previously qualify for Medicaid will be covered.

President Obama hinted last week that his $447 billion jobs plan might be financed in part by cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

At Colorlines, Yvonne Yen Liu argues that investing Medicaid would create jobs and stimulate the economy while serving the very populations who are suffering the most in the recession. California's bold action on Medicaid may prove to be a prescient response to unemployment as well as health care.

Much has been written about the fact that women have lost 281,000 jobs since the so-called economic recovery began. Investing in Medicaid would create good jobs in a heavily female sector of the economy.

Lindsay Beyerstein is an award-winning investigative journalist and In These Times staff writer who writes the blog Duly Noted. Her stories have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, Slate, The Nation, Ms. Magazine, and other publications. Her photographs have been published in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times' City Room. She also blogs at The Hillman Blog (http://www.hillmanfoundation.org/hillmanblog), a publication of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, a non-profit that honors journalism in the public interest.

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