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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Americans with chronic conditions at risk

Medicaid covers millions of Americans. It makes sure children can see their doctors,  seniors and people with disabilities can get long-term care services, and Americans with serious health conditions can get the care they need. For many, Medicaid coverage is the difference between life and death.

For those suffering from a serious medical condition, it is of utmost importance to have health coverage. People with chronic health conditions require regular medical care including frequent doctor visits, prescription drug coverage, and screenings and other preventive care. Medicaid helps with all of this, and without it, many people with serious illnesses would not be able to afford the care they need. Federal or state cuts to the Medicaid program would put them and their health at risk.

To better understand the importance of Medicaid for people whose health care needs require regular medical attention, Families USA contracted with the Lewin Group to look at the number of individuals in each state with cancer, diabetes, chronic lung disease, heart disease or stroke who rely on Medicaid for their health coverage. Click here to see your state’s report.

Medicaid coverage is important to all Americans: Cuts to the program would be detrimental to both those who rely on Medicaid for their health care needs and those who don’t. For example, cuts in Medicaid could result in an increase in uncompensated care, which could produce higher premiums for those with health insurance. Or, a loss of health coverage could cause a worker to miss work or child to do worse in school due to untreated illness, which, in the bigger picture, leads to decreased worker productivity and poorer educational outcomes for those who can’t afford care. And losing health coverage can also mean increased medical debt for families that are already struggling. Medicaid is vital to all the Americans it covers (and even those it doesn’t), but it provides a particularly important lifeline to people with chronic medical conditions who need ongoing medical care.

In the battle over the budget, it is imperative that we defend the Medicaid program. Please use this report to emphasize to your communities and to your members of Congress the importance of protecting Medicaid—for many it is more than just health care, it is a lifeline.


Americans with chronic conditions at risk | Families USA


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