GUEST BLOG: Medicaid Expansion ‘Saved My Life’

By: Secretary Ted Dallas, Department of Human Services

February 09, 2017

Two years ago today, Governor Tom Wolf announced a simple, traditional Medicaid expansion plan that would provide health care coverage to Pennsylvanians ages 19 to 64 with incomes up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

Since then, more than 700,000 Pennsylvanians have obtained quality health care coverage through the Medicaid expansion. Since expansion occurred, U.S. Census data shows that the commonwealth’s uninsured rate has dropped from 10.2 percent in 2010 to 6.4 percent in 2015.

If the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is repealed, over a million Pennsylvanians could lose access to health care. This will have a devastating impact for many Pennsylvanians.

Governor Wolf will fight any attempt to cut coverage for hard-working families and seniors.

Here are some of the lives that have benefited from Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act:

  • Working parents who need Medicaid to access care for their 3-year-old son, who has a congenital heart defect and requires 12 to 15 medications and the care of many specialists.
  • A woman with a chronic pain condition who can now access the care and medicine she needs.
  • A mother whose daughter was diagnosed with hearing loss as a newborn. With testing and hearing aids obtained through Medicaid, the now sixth-grader is thriving.
  • Brian Klein, a working Pennsylvanian who could not afford health care prior to the Medicaid expansion and used his coverage to seek treatment for Stage 3 colon cancer.
  • A widow who became disabled in 2011 and relies on Medicaid to treat several co-occurring medical conditions.
  • A mother who was able to access care, therapy, and support so her autistic daughter could “become the best she can be.”
  • Parents of a child with cerebral palsy. Medicaid helps them afford anti-seizure medication and medical equipment.
  • A nonbinary person who was finally able to access trans health care after many years. The Medicaid expansion meant so much to them that upon recovery, he became a caseworker with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to help others access quality health care.”

These real-life stories are a reminder of how important it is for Pennsylvanians to have access to meaningful health care coverage. Has the Medicaid expansion positively impacted your life? The Department of Human Services would like to hear your story.

Read the Year One report on Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania to learn more about who was affected, which services were utilized, and the overall statewide impact.

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