As the Green Miles reported earlier today, repealing the Affordable Care Act would hurt, real, actual people-our neighbors, our friends, even our veterans. Theodore Method, a military veteran and retired postal worker from Alexandria, shared his story at a rally in front of the Supreme Court this morning, on how Medicaid has helped his wife who has Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and congestive heart failure. Theodore is very involved in his wife’s care and goes to the nursing home down the road in Mt. Vernon to feed her lunch every day. If his wife’s Medicaid benefits were cut, Theodore would have to exhaust his own retirement funds to maintain his wife’s standard of care and would quickly run out of resources for both of them.
“At 80, I can’t provide the type of care my wife receives at Mt. Vernon and without Medicaid there would be no way to pay for it. I’ve retired from three jobs at this point, but my Social Security and retirement benefits together wouldn’t be enough to cover the cost of nursing home care for my wife. If we lost Medicaid, the impact on our family would be devastating,” said Method.
The Medicaid provision of the Affordable Care Act represents a welcome expansion of care for the more than a million uninsured Virginians. Although Virginia was recently touted as the number one state to earn a living, it has the shameful distinction of being 48th in Medicaid spending. Medicaid is frequently on the state budget chopping block sustaining millions in budget cuts.
The Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act would benefit 370,000 uninsured Virginians by 2019 with the federal government funding 96% of the expansion. According to a 2011 report titled “The Bottom Line: How the Affordable Care Act Helps Virginia Families,” released by the health consumer group Families USA, the Medicaid expansion will also control costs for insured Virginia families.