John Oliver explains why this week’s election is actually super-important

If you can vote in the states of Mississippi, Kentucky, Virginia, or New Jersey, then there’s a very important election happening tomorrow—and you may not even know about it. In Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver broke down the gubernatorial and legislative elections that are getting very little media coverage. But they should, because they’re going to determine something super important: Medicaid.

As John Oliver explains, millions of Americans are currently stuck in what is the called the “Medicaid gap” or the “coverage gap.” People who fall into this category make too little to qualify for federal insurance, but too much to qualify for Medicaid.

Now, a little thing called Obamacare was supposed to eliminate this gap, splitting Americans into two groups: Medicaid, and subsidized insurance. But that can’t happen when states can, and do, choose to reject the Obamacare expansion that was upheld in 2012.

Why would states choose to reject Obamacare? Unclear, since, as John Oliver explains, the deal would be extremely favorable and would give healthcare to Americans who don’t just deserve it, but should have the fundamental right to it as an American citizen. But many states did.

That’s hard to believe when you hear the stories of those who are stuck in this gap, like Lashombee Hoard, a diabetic forced to re-use disposable medical supplies in order to save money. Or Cathie Owen, whose family has a history of colon cancer, but who is financially unable to obtain the funds for a potentially life-saving colonoscopy.

It’s that serious, but for the states involved, your vote could give healthcare to those who desperately need it. If you do live in these states, take a look at your candidates, and specifically their stances on Medicaid expansion. Keep these stories in mind when you head to the polls on Tuesday.

Watch the full clip below:

(Image via YouTube)

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