The Supreme Court's decision allowing states to block the Medicaid expansion included under 2010's "Obamacare" law - and the promises of some GOP governors to follow through and block the program's expansion to their states' low-income workers - come at a real cost: Millions more people will continue to lack access to health care.
Republicans have continually promised to "repeal and replace" the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, without ever saying how they plan to replace it beyond platitudes recommended by Frank Luntz such as "patient-centered health care."
Incidental Economist blogger Aaron Carroll passes along the chart at the left - which illustrates the human cost of repeal - along with a suggested framing for President Obama to counter the GOP's insistence on returning to the old status quo, proposed by Washington Post columnist Matt Miller:
Carroll, who strives to be a dispassionate academic even as he supports expanded access, says he's "more than willing to consider any plan put forward by anyone that manages to increase coverage to the extent that the ACA does. But if no such plans are coming forward, then it’s hard to see how we can do well by simply going back to the way things were before."
There's a reason for that: the heavy fog of partisanship that descended over the country at the start of Obama's term, typified by Sen. Jim DeMint's promise to make health care into Obama's "Waterloo" - even though the proposal Obama and congressional Democrats negotiated is, at its root, a bipartisan compromise, as I explained in Sunday's Inquirer. As Miller puts it: