Medicaid has been a lifeline for millions of Americans since it began in 1965. Yet, the program is not widely understood. There are many stereotypes and myths about who benefits from it. And to further confuse matters, it sometimes goes by different names in different states.
Though we may not realize it, many of us have friends, co-workers or loved ones who depend on Medicaid as their only option for health care. If funding for the program is cut, they could lose access to their medical care.
Lawmakers at the federal and state levels are continuing to debate the future of this vital safety net. During the next few months, it’s critical to fully understand who would be affected and what it would mean to them if the program funding or coverage is severely reduced.
That is why Providence St. Joseph Health is launching a new campaign, The Many Faces of Medicaid. Through the stories of real people’s lives, we want to shed light on the value of this vital program. Our hope is to show how the program helps people in our own families, neighborhoods, churches, community groups, workplaces, and beyond.
Providence St. Joseph Health believes that access to health care is a fundamental human right, and we remain deeply committed to caring for people with Medicaid coverage. Across the seven states we serve, more than 20 million people are covered by Medicaid, many of whom often are among the most vulnerable in our communities.
For example, did you know that across the U.S., Medicaid covers:
- 65 percent of all seniors in nursing homes
- Four out of 10 children, including millions with special needs due to disabilities
- 50 percent of all births
- 27 percent of all mental health care, making it the single most important source of mental health services
- Three out of 10 people with opioid addiction
- Nearly one in 10 U.S. veterans
We know that there is plenty of room to improve the program, and we are developing innovative ways to provide the best care in the best setting for this population. At the same time, we believe it’s critical to preserve coverage for the millions of Americans who rely on the program. Medicaid matters to our patients, which is why the program matters so much to us.
We invite you to visit our website and meet some of the people whose lives have been saved or changed for the better by Medicaid. Their stories are deeply moving. If you are among those who have been helped by this program, we invite you to share your story as well.