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A Birthday Wish for Medicaid

For the past fifty days - by posting program highlights, research findings and the voices of our beneficiaries - we hope we have successfully illuminated the importance of Medicaid to the health of our families, our neighbors and our nation. We aimed to demonstrate how Medicaid has made a significant contribution to reducing the number of uninsured individuals, and that working hand-in-hand with our state partners, we have made great strides in modernizing the program through improvements to enrollment and care delivery systems; have advanced prenatal care and birth outcomes; and have continued to foster quality improvement.

By promoting health and better health care, Medicaid has encouraged a new way of living for millions of beneficiaries, such as individuals like Purnell Taylor. Mr. Taylor is 59 years old and drives for a limousine service in Maryland. Being uninsured on a limited income was hard, especially since Mr. Taylor suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes. One day, at the library, he applied for health coverage and it turned out he was eligible under the Medicaid expansion. Mr. Taylor now pays just a small copayment for his medication and sees his own doctor regularly. With Medicaid, Mr. Taylor says life has changed dramatically. “I’m taking my medicine, I’m eating right and I’m exercising too,” he says. “I walk for an hour every day … in the morning, before it gets too hot.”

Inspired by our commitment to people like Mr. Taylor, we are pleased to announce the launch of a new set of outreach and educational materials called Living Well. Created for state Medicaid and CHIP agencies and partners, Living Well emphasizes the importance of the preventive services Medicaid and CHIP offer, and helps people address and avoid the chronic conditions that can be so debilitating and costly. Living Well aims to help Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries understand and access preventive services like checkups, vaccines and screenings to help prevent and detect diseases when they are most treatable. The materials feature ready-to-use, customizable posters, fact sheets, and social media posts, as well as tips for implementation. Learn more about the Living Well materials. 

Today, our birthday wish for Medicaid is more than a wish – it’s a promise. We will continue to work with states, stakeholders and beneficiaries to ensure that Medicaid continues to do its best for Mr. Taylor and millions like him. We’ll work hard so they will have the health coverage they need, as well as the opportunity to lead healthier, happier, more productive lives.

Happy Birthday, Medicaid! Here’s to good health!

Vikki Wachino

Director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services

Deputy Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

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