Letters to the Editor

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MEDICAID: Expansion sorely needed

Letter by Gail A. Lund, Tacoma on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm with No Comments »
February 6, 2013 10:31 am

I am a cancer survivor, and I believe that Washington state should expand Medicaid coverage. Our state currently covers only elderly and non-disabled adults who are below 70 percent of the federal poverty line. This makes us one of the 40 states that currently do not cover the entire population that will be covered with Medicaid expansion (all people under 133 percent of the federal poverty level).

Because of this, the federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost for newly eligible enrollees for the first three years. This contribution to new enrollees will drop to 90 percent in 2017. Now doesn’t it make sense to ensure that everyone has medical coverage? I can tell you that without it, just one hospital bill could throw a cancer patient like me into bankruptcy.

My personal experience with cancer is just one reason I advocate for cancer patients through ACS CAN (the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network). There are hundreds of other reasons living in my community: needy neighbors who may not be able to request help for themselves. For them, I ask our legislators in Olympia to make the sensible choice to expand Medicaid coverage.

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