Killing Obamacare has been one of the Trumpist shibboleths, despite the attempts to enact neoliberal “work-fare” requirements to Medicaid in some states.
If BBB fails, the expanded Affordable Care Act subsidies that passed in the covid rescue package will expire at the end of next year.
It has been overshadowed by months of Democratic infighting and the searing national debate over Jan. 6, but the Biden administration is quietly erasing one of the cruelest legacies of Donald Trump’s presidency. This is a genuine achievement, in both symbolic and practical terms.
On Thursday, the administration rejected Georgia’s proposal to impose work requirements and premiums on Medicaid recipients. This was effectively the last nail in the coffin of Trump’s zombie attempt to make Medicaid more cumbersome and bureaucratic, in hopes of knocking as many people off health coverage as possible.
When Biden took office, nearly 20 mostly Republican-controlled states were in the process of crafting work requirements for Medicaid, on which 76 million Americans rely.
Now, Medicaid work requirements are all but dead in all those states.
Biden has made serious mistakes with the pandemic, in particular the failure to secure enough covid tests when need has exploded. But he’s making progress in getting more Americans covered, replacing the Trumpian impulse to impose suffering for the sin of being poor with the principle that every American ought to have access to health care.
“Biden has quietly been moving us closer to universal coverage, picking up on a cause Democrats have been pursuing since the early 20th Century,” Jonathan Cohn, author of an excellent history of the ACA, told us. “A big part of that has been undoing the legacy of Trump.
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