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The Truth Is…Health Insurance Makes a Difference in Health

 

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As South Carolina’s state Medicaid Director Tony Keck continues to tell state policy makers that expanding the Medicaid program to bring healthcare insurance to the uninsured is not right for SC, we learn from the sound research of the Commonwealth Fund that this is absolutely untrue.

A recent study reported that people who gained insurance coverage through Oregon’s Medicaid program experienced better access to care, increased detection of depression and diabetes, and reduced out-of-pocket costs. Yet blood pressure control, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels did not significantly improve. While some have said these findings suggest insurance coverage may not lead to better health, a new post on The Commonwealth Fund Blog argues that previous research leaves little doubt that insurance has a beneficial effect on health status over time. 

Read more about how SC Appleseed will continue to  work hard to ensure the smooth implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and will not forget that Medicaid expansion is the right thing for South Carolina.

 

Medicaid Expansion in SC – We Continue to Fight

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This week, Families USA and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Policies released a study revealing something we have known for quite some time – expanding the Medicaid program as called for in the Affordable Care Act has solid public support. In fact, in polling a broad mix of residents in the five southern states of AL, GA, LA, MS, and SC, they received a 62% favorable response rate. Interestingly, the results from  South Carolinians were the most positive with

65.2% of respondents supporting Medicaid expansion for our state.

A similar poll done by Winthrop University in April 2013 found slightly more than half of South Carolinians say they support Medicaid expansion. 

Yet, despite having the support of most South Carolinians, Governor Nikki Haley and the South Carolina Legislature have resisted the Medicaid Expansion and refused to accept the federal funding for expansion this year.  Simply put, they are out-of-step with their constituents.

Those of us fighting for the expansion understand that not only will broader Medicaid coverage save lives and end unnecessary suffering, it will also stimulate job growth and the economy in our state. Declining the Medicaid expansion now means that even as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation begins, more than 200,000 people in our state will continue to have no health insurance coverage. Here at SC Appleseed, we will continue to fight to close the coverage gap that impacts our working poor.

 

While we will work hard to ensure the smooth implementation of the Affordable Care Act, we also will not forget that Medicaid expansion is the right thing for South Carolina. We want to thank those Senators who worked so hard this week to include Medicaid expansion in the budget and we hope you will share in our appreciation by contacting the following:
  • Karl B. Allen
  • Paul G. Campbell, Jr.
  • Raymond E. Cleary, III
  • Creighton E. Coleman
  • Robert Ford
  • C. Bradley Hutto
  • Darrell Jackson
  • Kevin L. Johnson
  • Joel Lourie
  • Gerald Malloy
  • John W. Matthews, Jr.
  • J. Thomas McElveen, III
  • J. Yancey McGill
  • Floyd Nicholson
  • Glenn G. Reese
  • John L. Scott, Jr.
  • Nikki G. Setzler
  • Vincent A. Sheheen
  • Kent M. Williams
We are not done. We will be working the rest of this year to make sure this message is heard. We understand that the will of the people is to expand Medicaid to ensure that hardworking, low-income individuals in our state have access to quality healthcare.
The full polling report, “The Deep South and Medicaid Expansion: The View from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina,” is available at www.jointcenter.org/research/the-deep-south-and-medicaid-expansion

A Simpler Way to Apply for Health Care

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Tuesday, April 30, 2013 that the application for health coverage has been simplified and significantly shortened. The application for individuals without health insurance has been reduced from twenty-one to three pages, and the application for families is reduced by two-thirds. The consumer friendly forms are much shorter than industry standards for health insurance applications today.

In addition, for the first time consumers will be able to fill out one simple application and see their entire range of health insurance options, including plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and tax credits that will help pay for premiums.

The applications released today, which can be submitted starting on October 1, can be found here: http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/other/index.html#hie

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