The unfortunate victim is 32 year-old Charlene Dill, an uninsured mother living in Florida, who passed away from complications around a treatable heart condition. It mostly went untreated because Dill was poor and uninsured in a state that so-far refuses to expand Medicaid.
Brian Beutler, now writing for The New Republic:
She also fell into what policy experts call the Medicaid coverage gap — a hole the Supreme Court punctured in the health safety net when seven of its justices rendered the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion entirely voluntary.
Over 20 Republican state governments have ripped that hole wide open by refusing billions of federal dollars, offered on the sole condition that they be used to insure residents who earn less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level. In their states, residents who weren’t previously eligible for Medicaid, but currently earn too little to qualify for subsidies to purchase private insurance, are out of luck. Experts estimate that five million people nationwide have fallen into the gap. Nearly a million of those people reside in Florida alone — collateral damage in the GOP’s war against Obamacare. Dill was one of those people. She was selling a vacuum cleaner to earn the money she needed to buy her heart medication when she collapsed.
He further raises some important distinctions on the moral imperative of highlighting these stories in the effort to eliminate the coverage gap in non-expanding states. But the real tyranny is giving poor folks a fighting chance when the freedom to die selling vacuum cleaners for heart meds is so much sweeter.