By Nancy Bauder | April 13, 2021
When I retired and started my art business a few years ago, I realized that I could not afford the $600-$800 per month for health insurance premiums. When the Affordable Care Act came around and my business struggled to bring in income, I applied for insurance coverage, but did not qualify that first year. I made too much for Medicaid and too little for the ACA (less than $12,500). I would have been better off if I had not even worked that year. The second year, I made approximately $20,000 which qualified me for lower health care payments.
I have worked in health care most of my life. I served on the board of Cushing Hospital the past five years prior to closing. I can tell you it was not COVID-19 that closed the hospital, but the fact that we had to provide so much free care, something that under federal law we are required to do. Medicaid expansion significantly would reduce the uncompensated care costs currently absorbed by hospitals.