In 21 States, Politics Was Placed Firmly Before People, And The Results Are Devastating

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) allowed states to expand Medicaid to help lower-income people and the working poor gain access to medical insurance, many for the first time in their lives. 21 states have refused that money, largely because politicians are playing politics, and it's costing human lives. Like Israel, who you're about to meet.

Here are the states that have refused Medicaid expansion. And here's article from The Washington Post and one from NBC News about the financial impact on those states. The human cost? We'll never truly know.

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Twenty-four percent of the Texas population is uninsured.

You know, people make minimum wage around here, and a lot of the companies don't supply health insurance.

Two dozen states participating in the government's Medicaid expansion plan. Texas, however, has said in the past, it is not one of them.

We're not gonna participate in the exchanges. We're not gonna expand Medicaid.

If people do not get the care that they need, it's gonna lead to a catastrophic event.

My name is Israel Hilton and I was born here in Brownsville, Texas.

You caught one? Good!

I've worked all my life, and I've put into a system. Most of my life, I have not. been qualified for insurance, or it was not available to me.

Well, when you don't have healthcare, you become more cautious, as far as to go see a doctor, even just for regular care, just for a check-up. You know, where am I gonna get the money from? It's money that I need to use for something else.

Sorry about that.

It was at that point that I actually went back into the hospital, and they ordered a biopsy and determined it was cancer. From what I've been told, very likely I wouldn't get the rest of it, so right now, they're just trying to work as far as extending the length of time that I have, but I still don't know if It hasn't done anything for me yet.

I believe if I did have some type of health insurance, I would've been able to afford to get, maybe, a second opinion, and maybe I would've gotten more detail, as far as the type of exams they did on me?

And maybe the tumor would've been smaller, and they might've been able to treat it better.

At a different stage.

Oh, well. What if. Should'a, would'a, could'a.

I think it would be important for people to have insurance available to them, because they can actually take care of chronic illnesses before they even...Maybe even prevent chronic illnesses.

The expansion would've helped over a million adults. Primarily working-poor that have never had access to coverage. As a Texan, my Texas anyway, you help people who are less fortunate. We passed up a wonderful opportunity to do that.

There may be small errors in this transcript.

This video was made by the Center for American Progress. Go ahead and Like them on Facebook, if you want. Their Twitter is here.

Feb 26, 2014

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