While the Trump administration and its allies are moving to de-fund and dismantle Medicaid, the Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign is organizing to fight back. Over the past year, tens of thousands of people in states like Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee were kicked off Medicaid due to new eligibility hurdles like work requirements. Earlier this year, the Trump administration proposed $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid over the next decade.
One in three of us in Vermont rely on Medicaid or a Medicaid-funded service, including half of Vermont’s children. In this time of attacks on health care, our state can serve as a template for the rest of the country. How? By finishing the work of implementing a publicly financed, universal health care system.
Why expand Medicaid? In its current state, Medicaid makes a positive difference, but is far from perfect. As we move towards universal health care, we need to expand funding to make sure services like adult dental care, or home- and community-based services are supported and guaranteed. Consider this: In 2018, only one in four adults on Medicaid were able to see a dentist; just one in 10 of us got a preventative cleaning. That’s a problem.
A national health care system? In the immediate term, it’s unlikely to happen, which is why we in Vermont need to take the lead on a state-by-state approach. One that builds on Medicaid’s foundation to fund healthcare for all.