If Medicaid Were a Person: The Five Stages of Birthday Processing
Stage One: Another Year Bites the Dust!
On July 30, 2019, it’s going to be a party! Today, Medicaid will add another candle to its cake and celebrate its 54th birthday! Fifty-four years is a lot of life lived! 54 years ago, on July 30th, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bipartisan Social Security Amendments into law, creating Medicaid as the bedrock program providing health care coverage – and therefore access – for those who could not otherwise afford it. Over a half-century after its creation, Medicaid continues to work to improve health outcomes for women and girls in all our communities.
Stage Two: How is it Already Here!?
I know, right! Time flies when you’re providing affordable, quality coverage to 65 million people. And guess what? Women make up the majority of the adult Medicaid population. Medicaid coverage helps keep women healthy at all stages of life. Medicaid provides access to primary, preventive, specialty, and long-term care services. Medicaid enrollment improves outcomes in health and life! And of course, when you have healthy communities, you have healthy economies! Medicaid helps our economy grow by providing a healthy workforce and creating jobs.
Stage Three: Have I Done Enough?!
We all look back on our birthdays and wonder, have I done enough??? Medicaid can answer with a resounding yes! And since the ACA rollout, it’s worked overtime! Our country and women, in particular, have seen incredible gains in coverage through Medicaid expansion. By 2017 about 17 million women ages 18-64 had health coverage through Medicaid; with one in three obtaining their coverage through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. Medicaid expansion increased access to care, utilization of services, the affordability of care, and financial security among families struggling to make ends meet. Medicaid puts us on the path to a more just and equitable society. No one should avoid care simply because they cannot pay.
Stage Four: F*ck Yeah I’ve Done Enough!
It’s time to celebrate! The proof is in the pudding! With Medicaid we have:
- Earlier breast and cervical cancer screening and detection
- Lower cardiovascular mortality
- Improved access to family planning services
- Increased odds of tobacco cessation
- Reduced food insecurity
- Fewer substance use deaths
- Easier access to diabetes medications
- Lessened health disparities between white and Black babies
- Increased employment of people with disabilities
Stage Five: Bring on The Next Year of Life!
Medicaid is vital to ensuring women’s overall health and stability. But it’s always under attack! Whether it’s rollbacks or work requirements or other limitations, this administration and many states are putting women’s lives in jeopardy with their unfounded racist and classist ideologies. But we’re going to keeping fighting for Medicaid and fighting back the haters.
Happy Birthday, Medicaid! Keep living your best life!