Henderson is a part-time worker at a day-care center. He did not qualify for tax credits to purchase health coverage because his income is below the poverty line. Since Georgia is not expanding the Medicaid program, that meant Henderson was essentially responsible for his entire premium.100% of FPL is $957 a month. Chad Henderson earns less than that, and he's going to spend $175 of it on health insurance.
Henderson purchased a health insurance plan with a $175 monthly premium. While that price does fit in his budget, he was also hoping for a better deal.
This is the flesh-and-blood consequence of state-level Republican lawmakers—and let us not mince words here, Republicans control at least one of the branches of government in the only states that have not expanded Medicaid— choosing not to expand Medicaid to cover the poorest of the poor. For merely the cost of administering the expansion, states had the opportunity to cover all their citizens earning less than 133% of the Federal Poverty Line. Instead people like Chad Henderson will fork over a hefty chunk of their paycheck every month in insurance premiums.
And Henderson's situation isn't even that bad. A 62-year old retiree—someone who might have lived a life full of physically taxing low-wage jobs—might have retirement benefits that are still below the poverty line. But their premiums would run in the $550-650 range. Remember, for one in five retirees, Social Security is their only form of income. If someone fitting this description lives in the Deep South, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kansas, etc., they will have to send half their paycheck to their health insurance company to get coverage. All because their Governor or State House Speaker or State Senate President didn't want to participate in a nationwide Medicaid expansion.
I don't understand how anyone can call this behavior anything other than immoral.