Beyond resistance: Improving and expanding Medicaid

July 31, 2017

Dear Friends,

It is the third day of my email series, “Beyond Resistance: The things we should do to make us safer, healthier, and more economically secure.” Today’s topic: ways to improve Medicaid and close the health care coverage gap.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided health care to millions of people across the country. In Oregon, the ACA helped drop the state’s uninsured rate by 65 percent, granting access to affordable healthcare to nearly half a million people. We need to continue reducing the number of uninsured and find ways to improve Medicaid. This is not only about flexibility—it’s about expanding coverage in exchange for better performance.

In states that didn’t expand Medicaid, a family of three earning just $8,870 a year makes too much to qualify for the program, but too little to qualify for a subsidy to purchase coverage on the health care exchange. This is a glaring gap in coverage for those who need it most. It’s crucial to give these so called “non-expansion” states more flexibility to expand Medicaid past this arbitrary line.

In Oregon, the expansion of Medicaid was coupled with reforms to better coordinate health care and cover social services. As a result, Oregon covered more people while spending less. We need to allow more states to follow Oregon’s lead, and invest in reforms that expand coverage to aid more children, women, seniors, and people with disabilities. This will take us one step closer to expanding Medicaid for more Americans, in hopes of one day providing healthcare for all.

I welcome your thoughts, ideas, and opinions. You can connect with me here.


Earl Blumenauer

Member of Congress