Why Medicaid for Flint, and Medicare for Montana?

635890100798651879-012215-flint-water-issues-rg-01Leftover sends this, an exploration as to why the folks of Flint, Mich., were given Medicaid for their toxic water, and the folks of Libby, Mont., were given Medicare for life. Writes Donna Smith at Common Dreams:

Governor Snyder pressed the Feds to expand Medicaid coverage to children and youth under 21 years old and to pregnant women.  The Obama administration quickly approved the Medicaid expansion requested by Gov. Snyder – the man who is responsible for poisoning Flint residents, and the man who should resign as Michigan’s governor.  This Medicaid expansion for Flint was done under Section 1115 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act/Obamacare.

Why would that be? Writes Smith:

The residents of Libby, MT, are 95.1 % white as of the last census.  Median household income is just below $30,000/year.


The residents of Flint are nearly 60% African American as of the last census.  Median household income is approx. $26,000/year.

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  1. I wonder if this was done to appear that the State of MI was taking on more of a role in the solution (since Medicaid is administered by state). Do you think this is a poor choice?

    1. In my opinion, it is a poor choice because it is…simply…wrong. It is giving the victims of the same depraved indifference to public health and safety that occurred in Libby a completely different form of relief…for absolutely no good reason.

      The special Medicaid coverage is limited by age, gender, (men aren’t covered, nor nonpregnant women despite having experienced exposure to lead), economic status, (up to and including 400% of FPL), and residency status.

      The Medicare for life granted to Libby residents, (defined as anyone, regardless of age, gender, or economic status, who lived in Libby for a total of 6 months over a 10 year period currently residing in any one of 18 different counties in 3 different states), covers all of their healthcare issues even if unrelated to asbestos exposure. The amended Medicare coverage for those victims also entitles them to a full range of federal healthcare benefits not normally available through Medicare, regardless of need precipitated by exposure to asbestos.

      The effects of exposure to lead can be as life altering and long lasting as exposure to asbestos. The victims in Flint should have granted the same access to healthcare benefits as the victims in Libby. Obama should have insisted upon it. He didn’t. He needs to explain why. But he won’t.

      1. You’re right. The coverage should at least be as much – though I think the state should take on more of the cost.

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