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Medicaid Expansion Making Life Better for Working Americans

The Affordable Care Act is improving and saving lives by expanding Medicaid:

Charles McClinon, a 50-year-old Ohio resident who lives with epilepsy, told ThinkProgress, “The peace of mind is worth more than anything. I could be a millionaire, but if I don’t have peace of mind, what good is it? And that’s one thing this type of insurance is good for. I know I can get the kind of care I need.”

In 2010, McClinon’s epileptic seizures intensified, making it too difficult for him to hold down a job or complete the university classes in which he was enrolled in at the time. To make matters worse, his student health policy dropped him under a pre-existing condition clause. After that, McClinon struggled to afford the treatment he needed, especially after his medications started to give him debilitating side effects. He eventually became homeless.

After Ohio’s governor became one of the first Republican leaders to accept the Medicaid expansion, however, McClinon gained coverage in February. He can now afford the multiple medications he needs to manage his condition — and this summer, he also had a cutting-edge surgery that will hopefully prevent his seizures and eliminate the need for all the drugs he currently takes. Thanks to his Medicaid coverage, he didn’t have to pay for that procedure out of his own pocket.

McClinon, who worked his whole life before his seizures worsened, is looking forward to feeling like his old self again. “It’s not even just about medical care — it’s also been helpful for me on the mental health side,” McClinon said, referring to his newfound peace of mind. “I don’t know what I would have done if I lived in another state” [Tara Culp-Ressler, "Meet The People Whose Lives Have Been Transformed By Medicaid Expansion," ThinkProgress, 2014.10.16].

Read Culp-Ressler's full article, then remind why anyone is voting for the South Dakota Republicans like Mike Rounds, Kristi Noem, and Dennis Daugaard who want to take such health and peace of mind away from their fellow South Dakotans.


  1. Steve Sibson 2014.10.21

    "who want to take such health and peace of mind away from their fellow South Dakotans"

    What do you mean "to take"? Who is the taker in this report? The person getting the healthcare. The medical establishment who is making money providing it? Or the Democrats trying to take an election by promoting coveting?

    Greed, greed, and more greed with a huge dose of coveting.

  2. larry kurtz 2014.10.21

    It would take a helluva lot more than $8.75 an hour for a sane person to live in Mitchell, that's for sure.

  3. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.21

    Sibson is still too damn lazy to write his own blog.

  4. TG 2014.10.21

    I think there are a few good things in the ACA. I don't think you can read one story and say you can't vote R for that one reason. The long term financial impacts on our country is at the core of my concern regarding the ACA. I personally wouldn't want Mr. McClinon or anyone else similar to live without healthcare or have that peace of mind. Just like keeping the no pre-ex clause and covering kids until 26 (I might go lower), there are some good things but there's alot more of who's covered that likely could get their own. That's why I still think it needs to be modified big time and doesn't work well overall to promote it 'as is'. I'm an R and I have compassion for these people even though it doesn't affect me or anyone I know (to this degree). People I know personally who are on or looked into the ACA are paying significantly more than they were before.

  5. o 2014.10.21

    Steve, I believe the idea is a "right to life" that is being taken away. Too often that catch phrase is used only in the context of the unborn, but perhaps that right extends past delivery.

    Our social contract ought to clearly demand access to health care for all.

  6. o 2014.10.21

    TG, the issue I have with your position is that it acknowledges the ACA can save live and make the conditions better for many, but it coasts money so . . . We are a wealthy country. That wealth has continued to concentrate in the hands of a top few. There is money to pay for ALL elements of the ACA (and then some), but we have to choose our spending priorities. I am unwilling to say that we ought to let the poor die to preserve some level of obscene wealth hoarding.

  7. jerry 2014.10.21

    I agree Cory and here is something voters should also consider. Any one of us could suffer a blow to the melon that could bring about seizures that would make so we did not have that great job and cool house and the extra's that go with it. See, those things require a paycheck and if you cannot work, ya got no moolah. So now you have an illness or accident that you did not make an insurance settlement on and you will be afflicted for all of your days with. If you live in a sane state, you can go on Medicaid if you qualify. Here in South Dakota, tough luck baby, make it on your own. There is another interesting part to this as well, we South Dakotans are paying on this without any kind of payback whatsoever. The feds take the money and utilize it on the states that have made the business choice of Medicaid Expansion. Here in South Dakota, the republican criminal element cannot see any way to skim profits like EB-5, so they are not interested. Remember the old, really really old sayings about being fiscal conservatives? That simply means, fleecing the marks in our state.

  8. jerry 2014.10.21

    How much do you think Sanford is going to raise prices for their ACA plans?

  9. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.21

    President Obama was able to accomplish what he did with ACA by telling one story at a time during his campaigns.

    One story at time adds up to one big story over time that justifies Medicaid Expansion

  10. Steve Sibson 2014.10.21

    "Our social contract ought to clearly demand access to health care for all."

    With tomorrow's technology, we can't afford to keep everyone alive forever. And when does medical technology turn man into a god that determines who lives and who dies. We are already doing that with abortion except it is not man making that decision, it is the woman.

  11. Bill Fleming 2014.10.21

    LOL, Sibby's warming up to sales pitch for "death panels".
    Somebody call Michelle Bachmann. (I wanna watch this. :-)

  12. jerry 2014.10.21

    Nope Tara, they are going to raise there Marketplace ACA plans ZERO or 0. That is correct, astounding isn't it, but not unexpected. Relax, the black dude has this handled, just like ISIS and Ebola and the rest of nutbaggery that is out there. My next question is this, Do you like apples?

  13. tara volesky 2014.10.21

    Even if they don't raise them, they are plenty high.

  14. mike from iowa 2014.10.21

    How many times does whitey wingnut got to 'splain how it is Libbies fault they weren't born wealthy? If you were born wealthy you'd have a built in excuse for being dirt dumb. Others have to work 24/7 to get that dumb.

  15. jerry 2014.10.21

    Yeah, and if my grandmother had wheels she would be a bicycle.

  16. owen reitzel 2014.10.21

    "With tomorrow's technology, we can't afford to keep everyone alive forever. And when does medical technology turn man into a god that determines who lives and who dies."

    By rules of the right wing Steve it'll be the people with the most money.

  17. owen reitzel 2014.10.21

    We have to decide if healthcare is a right or not

  18. grudznick 2014.10.21

    People need to take a little personal responsibility for their heath and happiness. Especially mental heath. Get a grip, people. The world doesn't owe you health and happiness. Make it for yourself.

  19. owen reitzel 2014.10.21

    In a perfect and equal world Grud you're absolutely right. However this isn't a perfect world. Some people might have more talent then other people. Some people are white and other people are black or other races who don't get the same breaks as other people.
    We live in a country that has the best medical care in the world and fewer and fewer people have access to it.
    How much does it cost the rest of us when the people with no money use the emergency as their healthcare provider?

  20. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.21

    You're right, no one can provide you happiness, but providing healthcare for people that need it but can't afford it is cruel.
    It is hard to believe that my friend grudz is that cruel

  21. Barry Smith 2014.10.21

    Prediction--- 2024 will be the year that Republicans begin to campaign for Medicaid, with claims that their Democrat opponents are going to cut it.

  22. Jane 2014.10.21

    Obesity is a leading cause of illness. If illness is reduced, cost of healthcare may reduce. America eats too much processed foods, high in carbs and fat, low energy. This perpetual displacement of the issues is what we are paying for. Also, yes we are a charitable country, however selfish people have abused our healthcare system. In order to course correct, it's time to pay so that eventually this can be adjusted. Economy of scale predicts that it will cost much more later to fix. ACA needs to be modified to mature it, but it's still necessary. Now we need to stop giving out free care to people who can pay, but hide their assets to freeload. And those who come to America to get free medical care, and folks it's not just from neighboring countries. They are flying in too.

  23. Jane 2014.10.21

    Let's get healthy first! Eat well balanced meals, moderate exercise, drink plenty of water. And breath!

  24. JeniW 2014.10.21

    Jane, if only it was that easy.

    Obesity for some is as much of an eating disorder as anorexia is. For some, physical conditions and medications contribute to weight gain. For some food is as addicting as drugs are.

    Indeed there are abusers in the healthcare system, just like there are abusers in all other types of system. How to deal with it is the issue. There will always be abusers in every system, because people are smart enough to find the loop holes.

  25. grudznick 2014.10.21

    Mr. C, you know that you and I disagree on Socialism. I believe that cave-babies who couldn't make it should die, and not make the rest of the clan suffer or potentially die. Natural selection. It sucks.

    If, and it is a big IF, you want to pay for people's bad choices then you need to limit their choices. Pick: Stop doing that dumb shit and the rest of us will pay for you or keep doing that dumb shit You really need to suffer the consequences.

    This is a theory I proffered during my breakfast rant on April 11, 2010, at the Sugar Shack breakfast gathering of the Conservatives with Common Sense. Many of you were in attendance. I had 3 people buy my breakfast that morning, and 2 more buy me dinner that night.

    I'm just sayin...

  26. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.22

    There are two forms of socialism in this country, maybe more, there is the Democrats socialism and there is your party's socialism.
    The Republican socialism is all about helping those with ample resources to help themselves and still demand more from the government, while at the same time telling poor people to pull themselves up by their own boot straps when the poor cannot even afford boots.
    Sometimes I think Republicans are working at cross purposes, I watched a documentary on slavery the other evening and what struck me was that even slave masters like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson knew they had to keep their slaves healthy in order for them make a profit.
    In America, corporations don't like the idea of having to pay living wages to their labor force and as a result they take their business to countries where labor is cheap or where they still have sweat shops.
    American businesses that don't like taking responsibility for the health of their laborers will find a million reasons why they shouldn't have to.
    Hell grudz, even slave masters were smarter than today's Republicans.

  27. grudznick 2014.10.22

    I try not to be so all inclusive in my accusations, Mr. C. For instance, I don't think ALL libbies were dumber than all slave masters. Only some. That leaves it for the libbie reader to think and stretch their minds a bit.

    For I believe that simply castigating an entire group for some actions of some of the group is wrong. You, my friend, should know that more than most.

  28. grudznick 2014.10.22

    I am saddened and disheartened.

  29. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.22

    Here's the deal grudz, when I was a kid I joined the Boy Scouts, after a couple of years I no long liked the Boy Scouts, so I quit.
    After the Democratic Party did things that I disapprove or found offensive, it would be like the Boy Scout thing all over again, I would quite being a Democrat.
    In South Dakota, Democrat liberal, lib, and libbie are all four letter words and are considered an insult, that is what I find disheartening and sad.

  30. Jane 2014.10.22

    I would love to see the day when some of us stop biting the hand that feeds it. If the Feds are so evil, stop taking the money from it. Government subsidies is a game of robbing Peter to pay Paul. The evil ones are those that take advantage of Federal programs, and deny that they do.

  31. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.10.22

    If there was an option for Medicare Part E, the costs of private health insurance would tumble like a boulder down a steep mountainside. The public option is what is needed to keep health care costs in hand.

    Grudz, you are a Class A Poker! By that I mean, you like to find the vulnerable place in others, and poke them until they respond. You are simply ornery.

    Lastly, people cannot cure themselves of a mental illness any more than they can cure themselves of a physical illness. Duh. If you want to blame folks for their mental illnesses, that's just mean. You are not a mean person, and, even if it doesn't seem mean to you, it still is.

    Here is an example: My one and only big sister has a mental illness. She seems normal and looks normal. You could have an interesting conversation with her. She's plenty smart. But then she loses track of reality. She gets confused about what has happened in the past. For the past 4 years she has blamed me for her struggles. We haven't talked since 2010 when I helped her through our mother's funeral. She won't talk to me.

    Sis doesn't like being that way. I really don't like her being that way. But that's mental illness.

  32. Jane 2014.10.22

    Grudz, I don't want to pay for these subsidies. As a tax payer in the higher bracket, it's painful. If states would stop taking government sudsidies, and charge state taxes instead, hey I'm for that. Like you say, the fitest survive. I like it! I'm for flat tax! My friend who is a pastor, Republican got pissed off when I mention flat tax. Because it means that he would not be able to get away with all the write offs. If you really feel it's survival of the fitest, Flat Tax Rate!

  33. lesliengland 2014.10.22

    larry, roger-great blog citation & posts!

  34. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.22

    If we can subsidize air travel to Pierre, we can subsidize more of the wonders of modern medical technology to help more citizens enjoy the dignity of longer, healthier life.

    (Did you catch that, Sibby? The Medicaid expansion is pro-life. The Affordable Care Act is pro-life.)

    I like Owen's response to Sibby's esoterics: sure, medical technology will advance, and it will cost money, and there are limits to our money... but that doesn't mean we should pretend to absolve ourselves of responsibility for hard decisions by letting the market decide. Letting big money say who lives long and prospers and who dies early is not a superior moral solution.

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