Columbia, SC — Thanks to Cindi Ross Scoppe for her level-headed column about health coverage for lower-income adults through our state’s Medicaid program (“Medicaid expansion will create jobs, increase tax revenue,” Dec. 27).
Scoppe is talking about adults such as the 60-year-old waiter at Lizard’s Thicket with heart disease, no health care and praying for 65 when Medicare kicks in. Right now, adults (except for the disabled and mothers with infants) are not covered under Medicaid, no matter how low their income.
AARP believes everyone should have access to affordable health care. That includes 65,000 50- to 65-year-olds in South Carolina who have either lost their jobs or can’t afford health care. The new Medicaid option would provide coverage for individuals who’ve paid in all their lives but are struggling to make ends meet.
If South Carolina says “no” to covering the lowest-income folks through Medicaid, then a new coverage gap will be created: Under the Affordable Care Act, people making more than $15,000 will be eligible for a federal tax credit to help purchase insurance through a health-insurance exchange, but uninsured people who make less than $15,000 a year will still not have access to affordable coverage.
Associate State Director, AARP