In light of the growing number of Republican governors’ refusals to implement provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the most prominent of which being Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Rick Perry of Texas, it becomes prudent to contemplate the trends of access to care, residents’ health status and the political leanings of individual states across the country. The refusals to implement are rooted in the Supreme Court’s decision that the federal government could not unduly coerce states to follow the Medicaid expansion portion of the Reform by reducing federal funding in those states. This practice was deemed unconstitutional by the current court, however no concerns were raised when the Reagan administration used the very same tactic, reducing transportation funding to states that did not raise their drinking age to 21. The decisions not to implement the law are also based on inaccurate estimates of states’ responsibilities in later years.
Many of those very states that are refusing to implement health care reform are ranked as some of the highest in uninsured residents and rates of obesity. They are some of the unhealthiest states in the country. When compared to these states’ political leanings, questions can be raised about what happens when political ideology takes priority over the health of the general population.
Click the images below to be taken to interactive maps.
Uninsured Americans by State
Obesity Rates by State
2012 Presidential Election
Political Leans by State
Lawsuit Against the Affordable Care Act by State