Catch up Day 19 – Medicaid at 50: 193,000 Americans

Catastrophic events happen. Let me name some. Getting hit by a bus. Getting really expensive cancer. Getting a rare disease that requires expensive diseases. These are things that can happen to anyone.

Now imagine that you are making $800 a month, struggling to pay rent, without any savings, and working full time. Imagine a catastrophic event happening to you know. For 193,000 Americans in states that decided not to expand Medicaid– there are no financial protections to protect them from these high out of pocket costs.

If you’re thinking- yeah well there is charity care or the law says an ER has to treat everyone– let’s not think about catastrophic events like the one time traumatic ER visit. Let’s think of it instead as a regular expense in your life to treat really any medical expense (a heart drug + regular healthy check ups + stitches for a minor accident) these bills add up. Medicaid protect people from having the cost of medical care prevent people from being able to pay for other basic necessities. It is in the simplest terms financial security.

I’ll leave you with an excerpt this White House report, because that’s how all good blogs should end.

193,000 fewer people will face catastrophic out-of-pocket medical costs in a typical year. Having health insurance dramatically reduces the risk that individuals face catastrophic outof-pocket medical costs. If the 22 States that have not yet expanded Medicaid did so, 193,000 fewer people would face catastrophic medical costs (defined as costs in excess of 30 percent of income) each year once expanded coverage was fully in effect. States that have already expanded Medicaid will eliminate catastrophic medical costs for 187,000 people each year.

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