Because of Bobby Jindal and Bobby Jindal alone, 277,000 (according to the study) Louisiana citizens will remain uninsured, despite the fact that federal law would provide them with the opportunity and the resources to guarantee their coverage.This week, Gambit re-published an article from the Houston Press about the ACA's effect on Houston musicians and their access to coverage. Texas has also rejected the Medicaid expansion but that hasn't kept the law from having an impact. And its impact is on attitudes as well as on health care.
277,000 may not seem like an enormous number to people who live in America’s big cities, but in Louisiana, a city of 277,000 would be the second-largest in the entire state.
Governor Jindal defends his decision to refuse Medicaid expansion on the basis that it could, at the very worst, cost Louisiana $1.7 billion over the next ten years. That projection is now definitively dubious, as it was based on a series of worst-case assumptions on enrollment and participation. More than likely, Medicaid expansion would actually make money for Louisiana.
One musician who came to Ozz's benefit concert was Christian Kidd of the Hates. Like Ozz, Christian and Alexis realize that much work must be done before reform provides decent, affordable coverage to the entire country.So it turns out that this terrible thing that was going to destroy America is really just a way to help you buy health insurance and feel less guilty about pursuing your dream. Once the formerly amorphous ball of HITLERSOCIALISTDEATHPANELS starts to have an impact on people's actual lives, they're less inclined to react to political demagogueing. Candidate Jindal can't have that happening. Which is why he'll do whatever he can to limit that effect while he can.
"You've got to start somewhere," Christian says. "I think there's people that really don't like the change and think that they can still turn this back and get rid of it."
Christian rarely talks about his experiences with Alexis now that he has the coverage that allows his wife to monitor her disease. Much of Houston's punk and metal scene is staunchly libertarian and conservative, right down to The Hates' bass player. But regardless of politics, these musicians understand that the ACA has been a godsend to the Kidds, even if they oppose the idea on a national scale. "It does make them see the human element and not the fearmongering," Alexis says.
Meanwhile, Christian is candid about downshifting his career with the Hates while seeing to his wife's health needs.
"I definitely had to slow down," he admits. "I put things on hold. I grew up in a pretty conservative household. I always felt guilty because I didn't go to college and get a straitlaced job that would have allowed me to take better care of myself and others."
What he says next speaks to the couple's recent struggles as much as to Christian's punk rock aspirations.
"I was always pretty determined to do [music] instead, but I've always felt the sacrifices for it," he says. "You've got to do what you want to do, but it makes you aware of how things would be different if you'd become a doctor or something."