The Next Political Football: Medicaid

Last week’s Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act has placed a spotlight on the expansion of Medicaid benefits that the legislation envisioned.  Reactions to the Court’s ruling, which gave states the right to opt out of the expansion, again illustrate the state-level differences in our political culture.  Already a number of states, notably Florida, have declared their states will not be going along, while others (including California, New York, and Illinois) have embraced the measure.

THIS INTERACTIVE MAP on the PBS News Hour website allows you to see where each state stands with respect to the plan and the number of eligible recipients who will be affected in each.

Readers may also be interested in the maps below, showing the US House and Senate votes that led to the passage of the health reform bill.  Click on the maps to see larger maps and full legends.

US House vote on March 21, 2010,
by congressional district, showing yeas and nays by party.

US Senate vote on December 24, 2009, by state.

Maps courtesy of Kurykh on Wikimedia Commons.

Susan Barsy, Progress Isn’t Popular, Our Polity.
Susan Barsy, A Decision We’ll All Feel, Our Polity.
Susan Barsy, The Map of Federal Benefits, Our Polity.
Susan Barsy, Help Understanding the Budget, Our Polity.

The Map of Federal Benefits

I stumbled on this fascinating map published yesterday on the New York Times website.  It’s a national map showing the distribution of all federal benefits to individuals–including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits, and so on–by county, so that you can see which counties are most reliant on federal social spending.

What’s fascinating is that the highest levels of federal benefits are not where you might expect them to be.  They are not in cities.  In many cases, they are in “red” parts of the country.

The only way this map could be better is if it included farm subsidies.  I imagine they were excluded because they often go to corporate entities, and this is a map of benefits to individuals.  But because many prosperous commercial farmers in America benefit from this form of government support, it might be included to round out this picture of geographical reliance on federal aid.

Food for thought.