It may not equal Social Security and Medicare as a “third rail” program that politicians touch at their own risk, yet Medicaid seems to have gotten stronger after the Republican failure to pass healthcare legislation.
Reviled by conservatives, the 1960s Great Society program started out as health insurance for families on welfare and disabled people. But the link to welfare was broken long ago, and the federal-state program has grown to cover about 1 in 5 Americans, ranging from newborns to Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes, and even young adults trying to shake addiction. Although Medicaid still serves low-income people, middle-class workers are more likely to personally know someone who’s covered.
Increased participation — and acceptance — means any new GOP attempt to address problems with the Affordable Care Act would be unlikely to achieve deep Medicaid cuts.
“This was an important moment to show that people do understand and