Medicaid at 50: Lifeline’s Limited Reach

Sue Berkowitz

Publication: AARP Bulletin
Date: July 1, 2015

 

It’s tough for Sue Berkowitz when people call the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center requesting help for their health care needs. A non­profit advocating for low-income South Carolinians, the center isn’t a service organization, so it does its best to point people to resources.

 

“There’s nothing harder than when someone with a chronic illness contacts us saying they don’t know what to do,” said Berkowitz, the center’s director.

 

Those calls motivate Berkowitz to continue the fight for Medi­caid expansion. South Carolina is one of 21 states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That decision leaves 194,000 people in a “coverage gap,” primarily because they make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to obtain federal subsidies to purchase private insurance.

 

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