Community Nonprofits Are Our Insurance Policy for Families
From Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity
The hope that American politics would return to a more normal condition after the 2020 election was in vain. Even after the events of January 6th, Donald Trump remains central to Republican politics and may be the party’s candidate in 2024. The extreme polarization of our politics appears likely to continue for years to come.
With our politics so bitter and divided, our reliance on states for operating programs for families has become more challenging. The fate of the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act is a preview. Despite obvious benefits of adopting the expansion, a dozen states continue to resist for what appear to be largely political reasons. If, hypothetically, a Romney administration had achieved a similar expansion of health coverage, would conservative governors and legislators have been so determined to oppose a policy that, among other things, assists rural hospitals?
We will see a mirror image rejection of federal initiatives should the balance of power shift in Congress after the 2024 elections. States like California and New York will refuse to implement policies related to immigration or abortion in federal programs they run. State Attorneys General now routinely sue to stop federal policies when the president is of the other party. Instead of adapting programs and policies, state policymakers are moving towards just saying no – or insisting on changes the other party sees as contrary to a program’s purpose, such as Democratic resistance to the Trump Administration’s promotion of work requirements in Medicaid. Meanwhile, American families are struggling and there will be a continued need – and pressure – to do more and better by them.