Members of MoveOn.org staged a protest outside of a meeting of the Republican Governors Association in New York City on Tuesday afternoon in an effort to embarrass governors who have not expanded their states’ Medicaid programs.
The advocates hosted a mock meeting of the “Republican Death Panel” and shared stories of people lacking access to health care coverage in states like Florida, Texas and North Carolina. All told, nearly six million low-income Americans have been left without any access to affordable insurance whatsoever because they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for premium tax credits in the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges.
Some pictures from the event:
Twenty-six states, along with Washington D.C., have expanded coverage to low-income Americans by growing their Medicaid programs to 138 percent of the poverty line and last week, Indiana governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Mike Pence (R) became the ninth Republican governor to support Medicaid expansion. Pence signaled that he would accept $17.3 billion over 10 years in funding from the health care law. The federal government is expected to approve Indiana’s program later this year.
Meanwhile, momentum for expanding Medicaid has culminated in public protesters across the country. Residents in Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Missouri have been protesting and rallying legislators who continue to block Medicaid expansion. Last month, a Virginia town hall forum with several Republican state legislators, organized by the anti-Obamacare Americans for Prosperity, was dominated by angry voters demanding the General Assembly accept the funds.