Medicaid is a boon that must be saved

Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 3:44 PM

When most people think of Medicaid, their first thoughts are of medical insurance for those with low income or the unemployed. In a lot of circumstances, though, Medicaid is much more than the safety net of most traditional perceptions.

For Coloradans with qualifying disabilities, Medicaid can be the difference between living in a nursing home and living in the mainstream community with family and neighbors.

Medicaid can pay for the in-home care that allows people with significant disabilities to live, work and contribute with the rest of society. By providing nursing and housekeeping services in the home, Medicaid saves the state of Colorado a large amount of money. The cost of keeping someone in a nursing home for a year is more than allowing that person to live on a cruise ship for a year.

Paying for in-home care allows for streamlined, targeted services that save Colorado money and eliminate the need to build additional facilities. Medicaid helps rural hospitals, including all of the people that work for them. It helps the medical professionals treating people with Medicaid, including physicians, nurses and pharmacists, which can be vital in rural areas with little industry or employment opportunity.

As voters, we need to appreciate the importance of Medicaid and all that it does for our area and our quality of life. It is crucial that we elect a governor and legislators who are pro-Medicaid!

Jason Ragsdell