Map #7. U.S. States that expanded, considered expanding, or decided not to expand Medicare so their residents would have better access to affordable healthcare.
In June, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a key part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now, people living in GOP-run states that refused to expand Medicaid can finally have access to health coverage through the federal healthcare exchange. Still, it’s utterly baffling that any state lawmaker or governor in his or her right mind would reject U.S. government funds that would give people access to healthcare. Especially since these people are already paying for Medicaid through payroll taxes. Even more puzzling is the number of non-Southern states that declined healthcare subsidies on behalf of their own constituents.
Such irrational behavior — and the fact that we’re subsidizing private healthcare companies instead of having a single-payer system to begin with — can only be understood in the context of the Southernization of America. The Old South exploits racism in both the North and the South to turn us against government programs that help people of color, even when they help whites too.
The Powers that Be don’t want people to have access to healthcare unless it’s through their jobs. They’re perfectly happy for people to live in quiet desperation or in fear of going bankrupt due to a medical emergency. Because, when it comes to the Southernization of America, people aren’t actually people, they only exist as customers and workers (often one and the same) who add or subtract from the bottom line.
Continues on next page: Map #8. The Southernization of America: Rates of Accidental Child Injuries that Result in Death.