After months of ignoring warnings from my WordPress dashboard that I needed to upgrade something called “PHP” or my blog might suffer some unspecified yet disastrous fate, I spent the last couple of hours figuring out how to do that. I soon realized that I would also have to find an updated version of my WordPress theme and install that as well. The fact that I didn’t completely vaporize my blog as I bumbled through this process has left me feeling a bit self-satisfied. I might be an old man, but I can still manage to do simple website maintenance. I’d like a cookie, please.
I also wanted to call attention to this piece in the Washington Post about North Carolina legislators finally agreeing to expand Medicaid after years of resistance from state Republicans. The article points out that political opposition to Medicaid expansion is becoming increasingly untenable for lawmakers, especially in purple states like North Carolina. And even that statement is giving Republicans too much slack. Opposition to expansion has never been tenable, at least not from a moral standpoint.
State leaders who continue to refuse expansion are denying health coverage to their neediest citizens because of an ideology that is openly hostile to any kind of assistance to the poor and marginalized. They may try to camouflage that ideology with platitudes about freedom and personal responsibility, but voters are no longer buying that bullshit. Ever since Republicans tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017, Medicaid has grown more popular as people understand its role in helping the single parent with two kids who lives down the street or the colleague at work who depends on personal care assistants to live independently. House Republicans are still flirting with deep cuts to Medicaid, but such legislation seems unlikely to pass even if a Republican president wins office next year.
Millions of people still have no health coverage because they live in red states where policymakers are more interested in making political statements than serving their people. Perhaps advocates can use North Carolina as a case study in how to persuade recalcitrant legislators to say yes to expansion.