Affordable Care Act, Obamacare — July 30, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Happy birthday, Medicaid! You’re helping more Americans than ever


Medicare is healthier, too, and it’s all thanks to Obamacare.

July 30th marks the 49th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, and both programs are looking better than they were just a few years ago.

As LOLGOP wrote earlier, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has already extended the life of Medicare by 13 years — and that’s just one piece of the good news. Be sure to read his terrific piece.

The ACA has been good for Medicaid, too, which is good for the health of middle-class and poor Americans. Since October 2013, more than 6.7 million people have enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP programs, thanks to Medicaid expansion under the ACA. In states that chose to expand Medicaid, there’s been an average 17 percent increase in enrollment. Since April 1, 2014, when the Healthy Michigan plan launched, 334,599 Michiganders have enrolled in the state’s version of Medicaid expansion.

Perry Wright is one of these Michiganders. He lost his insurance when he lost his job in 2012, and couldn’t afford $600 or $700 a month for COBRA coverage and still pay rent. So he went without health insurance.

He’s been actively looking for a job ever since. In fact, he was headed to a job fair the day we spoke. But in the meantime, he had to pay the price for going without insurance.

Wright, who is 48 years old, takes medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He was diagnosed with pre-diabetes 12 years ago — a condition that can turn into diabetes without preventive measures — so he takes good care of himself.

He’s lucky that his doctor gave him a price break on check-ups and prescription refills at the office. But the pharmacy was recently bought out by a big chain and his prescriptions would have cost $150.

“That’s a lot to pay for medication you really need,” says Wright.

He was pleasantly surprised when he found out he did qualify for the Healthy Michigan plan. Wright could choose from a number of insurance plans, all at no cost because he’s still out of work.

I wanted to keep my doctor, so all I had to do was pick a plan my doctor accepts. I see people on TV saying they lost their doctors but they let me switch to insurance my doctor accepts.

My cholesterol and blood pressure medications are free. And now I have peace of mind. It was scary to think about having to go to the ER or a doctor without insurance. I don’t have to worry about that anymore.

Enrollment in the Healthy Michigan program is open year-round. Apply online or call 855-789-5610.