John Oliver reports on Medicaid expansion decision in upcoming state elections

last week tonight john oliver
Still from HBO

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On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver discussed the importance of this week’s gubernatorial and legislative elections in Mississippi, Kentucky, Virginia, and New Jersey. The presidential election is still a year away, but there are other important elections happening that could cause 500,000 people to fall into the “Medicaid Gap.” “Now, I know that sounds like a terrible clothing chain where you can buy khaki hospital gowns sewn by children in India,” Oliver says, “but amazingly, it’s even worse than that.” A 2012 Supreme Court decision allowed 20 states to opt out of expanding Medicaid, putting 3.1 million people “in the illogical situation of not making enough money to receive government assistance.”

Oliver goes on to say, “Healthcare is like a pair of gym shorts: even if it covers nearly all of what it’s supposed to, you’re still left with some problematic gaps, and terrible things can happen.” He jokes, but as usual, his point is all serious. Even if you don’t live in one of those states, spare a thought for these elections, which could affect the health of half a million Americans.

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