Monday, December 29, 2014

Who needs the Medicaid expansion? It could be the next person you meet

A new report released by the Pennsylvania Health Access Network and FamiliesUSA found that of all the people who would be covered if Pennsylvania expanded Medicaid, roughly 60% of them - 285,000 people - are active in the workforce. They are the people who help us every day. Their work is critical to the state's economy.

Who needs the Medicaid expansion? It could be the next person you meet

A new report released by the Pennsylvania Health Access Network and FamiliesUSA found that of all the people who would be covered if Pennsylvania expanded Medicaid, roughly 60% of them – 285,000 people – are active in the workforce. They are the people who help us every day. Their work is critical to the state’s economy.

It is easy to assume that none of us know someone who would be affected by this, that we needn’t be involved. But the truth is these people are all around us. We interact with them every day and they provide vital services that most of us could not live without. And they are being let down by their elected representatives, who, it’s worth mentioning, have top-of-the-line health coverage.

Here are just some of the people who you and I know that would be covered under Medicaid if it’s expanded:

  • The tailor who hems your pants and 23,000 others in the production industry.
  • The bus driver who gets you to work and 31,000 others in the transportation industry.
  • The construction workers who built your home and 23,000 others in the construction industry.
  • The cooks and waitstaff that provide you meals and 40,000 others in the food service industry.
  • The assistants who help you at medical appointments and 12,000 others in the health service industry.
  • The cashiers and workers that staff your favorite stores and 33,000 others in the sales industry.
  • The repair people who make sure everything you use works and 25,000 others in the cleaning and maintenance industry.

It seems there is no shortage of individuals who would be positively affected by expanding Medicaid. These people, hardworking citizens that you interact with every day, are one medical mishap away from financial disaster. This hurts not only these workers and their economic security, but also our communities by depriving us all of valuable, needed services.

Meet Theodora, who explains her struggle in the video below.

Given the need, the availability of full federal funding for the first three years, and the fact that all our neighboring states expanded health coverage, it is, frankly, absurd that we have not yet expanded Medicaid here in Pennsylvania. Governor Corbett: it is time to abandon Healthy PA and expand Medicaid now. We owe it to these workers.

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The Field Clinic reports and analyzes health care laws, government policies, and political trends that are transforming the care we receive and the way we pay for it. Read more about our panel of bloggers here.

This blog is produced in partnership with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health-policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Portions of this blog may also be found on Inquirer.com and in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

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Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H. Professor, School of Law & Drexel School of Public Health
Jeffrey Brenner, MD Founder of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Medical Director of the Urban Health Institute at Cooper University Healthcare
Andy Carter President & CEO, The Hospital & Healthsystem Assoc. of Pa.
Robert B. Doherty Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs & Public Policy American College of Physicians
David Grande, MD, MPA Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Tine Hansen-Turton Chief Strategy Officer of Public Health Management Corporation
Drew A. Harris, DPM, MPH Director of Health Policy Program at the Jefferson School of Population Health
Antoinette Kraus Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Laval Miller-Wilson Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project
David B. Nash, MD, MBA Founding Dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health
Mark V. Pauly, Ph.D. Professor of Health Care Management, Business Economics and Public Policy at The Wharton School
Howard J. Peterson, MHA Managing Partner of TRG Healthcare, a national healthcare consulting firm
Donald Schwarz, MD, MPH Deputy Mayor for Health & Opportunity and Health Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia
Paula L. Stillman, MD, MBA Healthcare consultant with special expertise in population health and disease management
Elizabeth A. W. Williams Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer for Independence Blue Cross
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