The Face-Eating Leopards arrive in Clay County, Kentucky
In Depressed Rural Kentucky, Worries Mount Over Medicaid Cutbacks
For Freida Lockaby, an unemployed 56-year-old woman who lives with her dog in an aging mobile home in Manchester, Ky., one of America's poorest places, the Affordable Care Act was life altering.
The law allowed Kentucky to expand Medicaid in 2014 and made Lockaby – along with 440,000 other low-income state residents – newly eligible for free health care under the state-federal insurance program. Enrollment gave Lockaby her first insurance in 11 years.
"It's been a godsend to me," said the former Ohio school custodian who moved to Kentucky a decade ago.
...But Lockaby is worried her good fortune could soon end. Her future access to health care now hinges on a controversial proposal to revamp the program that her state's Republican governor has submitted to the Obama administration.
Next year will likely bring more uncertainty when a Trump administration and a GOP-controlled Congress promise to consider Obamacare's repeal, including a potential reduction in the associated Medicaid expansion in 31 states and the District of Columbia that has led to health coverage for an estimated 10 million people.
...Trump's unexpected victory may help Bevin's chances of winning approval. Before the election, many analysts expected federal officials to reject the governor's plan by the end of the year on the grounds that it would roll back gains in expected coverage.
...Lockaby is watching with alarm: "I am worried to death about it."
...About 60 percent of Clay County's 21,000 residents are covered by Medicaid, up from about a third before the expansion. The counties uninsured rate for nonelderly adults has fallen from 29 percent to 10 percent.
60% of the county. That's around 12,600 people. Let's assume 3/4 of them are adults who are eligible to vote...say, 9,500 or so.
From the Kentucky Secretary of State's office website:
CLAY COUNTY, KENTUCKY:
Donald J. TRUMP / Michael R. PENCE (REP): 5,861 86.64%
Hillary Rodham CLINTON / Timothy Michael KAINE (DEM) 752 11.12%
Gary JOHNSON / Bill WELD (LIB) 83 1.23%
Rocky Roque DE LA FUENTE / Michael STEINBERG (AMD) 3 0.04%
Jill STEIN / Ajamu BARAKA (GRN) 26 0.38%
Evan McMULLIN / Nathan JOHNSON (IND) 40 0.59%
Yes, that's right. A whopping 6,765 people voted (I'm guessing perhaps 15,000 were eligible)...and of those, 87% voted for Donald Trump.
"That's unfair!" you may say; "What about those who voted for Hillary? What about those who voted for Jill Stein, who supports Single Payer?"
Yeah...that would be 778 people.
I've no idea whether Ms. Lockaby was among the 752 people in Clay County who voted for Hillary Clinton or not. If she did, then I'm very, very sorry for her plight.
If not, however...
'I never thought leopards would eat MY face,' sobs woman who voted for the Leopards Eating People's Faces Party.
— Adrian Bott (@Cavalorn) October 16, 2015