By: Ryan Weeks, Baltimore, MarylandWhen I think about Medicaid expansion, I get emotional. Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act has been a lifesaver for my wife and me. Here is why.
I have a rare, genetic disorder that causes benign bone tumors. My father had it, and so did my grandfather. On a typical day, I experience a level 3 to 4 pain on a scale of 1 to 10. However, there has been a few times where the pain almost paralyzed me.
My father has always been a huge help to me. While on my father’s insurance, I was able to have three major neck surgeries and a back surgery that cost over $100,000 dollars each. Once I had to get off of my dad’s insurance, though, my options were COBRA and buying my own insurance. Both were very expensive. So, when I heard about Medicaid expansion through the ACA, I got really excited.
I consider myself lucky to be living in Maryland, which is one of the 30 states and the District of Columbia that have expanded Medicaid. Before Maryland expanded Medicaid under the ACA, buying health insurance on my own cost 50 percent of our monthly household income. This was a Catch-22 because our income was at the poverty level, but we still made too much to be eligible for regular Medicaid. So I hope that the remaining states follow suit, so that other people can get affordable, quality coverage and not be plagued by the same conundrum.
READ MORE: ACA’s Sixth Anniversary: Moving Forward Through Medicaid Expansion