Failure to fully implement Obamacare would leave thousands of military veterans without access to health insurance, according to ThinkProgress,
While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act makes no changes to the Veterans Health Administration, it expands Medicaid to all uninsured Americans who have an income below 133 percent of the federal poverty line. Medicaid expansio could potentially extend coverage to nearly half of all uninsured veterans.
There are 1,314,000 veterans without health coverage who tend to “have served more recently, are younger, have lower levels of education, are less likely to be married, and are less connected to the labor force.”
The expansion would mean supportive mental health services currently unavailable to the veteran homeless population, says the United Way. They cite previous hurdles in enrollment like limited knowledge of the programs and reduced access to technology.
States that have failed to grow Medicaid also have much higher rates of uninsured veterans.
A 2012 Supreme Court ruling allowed states to refuse the Medicaid expansion under Obama. Red states, including Florida, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Georgia, turned down the expansion. These states also have the highest uninsured rates in the country, ThinkProgress reported.
Republicans argue that state’s cannot afford to spend millions to expand the program, but the federal government foots the bill. The first three years the government pays 100 percent of the cost and then slimming down to 90 percent by 2020.