Director Mark Schmitt wrote for Vox about why Medicaid's role in saving the Affordable Care Act could signal changes in standard assumptions about social policy longevity.
So far, one thing has saved the Affordable Care Act from Republicans’ efforts to repeal it: When the votes counted, at least three Republican senators — along with every Democrat in the Senate — could not accept massive cuts to Medicaid.
Yes, Medicaid: a 50-year-old program targeting the poor and the near poor, a cornerstone of LBJ’s Great Society.
There’s a lesson here for people who want to preserve, and strengthen, the social safety net. Medicaid’s resilience calls into question conventional wisdom about which social programs are the most vulnerable to public backlash. It’s long been thought that “targeted” programs like welfare or Medicaid are more vulnerable to repeal or retrenchment than universal programs like Social Security.