SSN Commentary

Florida Is Trying to Kneecap Medicaid. Blue States Can Do Something.

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Georgetown University
Georgetown University

Originally published in Slate on July 13, 2023.

America remains the only well-off democratic country without universal access to health insurance. The 2010 Affordable Care Act, informally known as Obamacare, substantially increased access by offering Medicaid coverage to millions of low-income people who were previously denied coverage.

Progressive efforts in recent years to grow the effects of the ACA—such as by adding a public option—have failed to gain traction in Congress. During the pandemic, however, the government made a seemingly minor bureaucratic change that had a radical impact on insurance rolls. Typically, people have to re-enroll in Medicaid every year to show they’re still eligible. The federal government suspended this renewal process at the onset of the pandemic, meaning people would not be disenrolled for failing to complete the required paperwork.