Most of the coverage on the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) has been about the individual mandate, but the Supreme Court decision to strike down the Medicaid expansion will affect huge numbers of Americans as well:
Ashley Tagert didn’t know her family might gain health coverage from the health law — or that the Supreme Court decision could wipe that away.
Tagert, 28, and her husband live in Pearl, Miss., just east of Jackson, on the $2,224 a month that her husband earns as a mechanic. It’s too little, she says, to buy health insurance.
A lifelong migraine sufferer, Tagert has ended up in hospital emergency rooms several times because she couldn’t afford $200 a month for medication that helps ward them off. Just one trip to the emergency room left Tagert $10,000 in debt, helping propel Tagert, her husband and three children into bankruptcy.
Families like Tagert’s were among those that Democrats targeted in the 2010 health overhaul. But Tagert may end up without any health coverage even after the law takes full effect in two years. That’s because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can decide to forgo without penalty a key plank of the law that expanded the federal-state Medicaid program to include all legal residents living in or near poverty.
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