For years in most states, Medicaid eligibility had been limited to disabled adults, seniors needing long-term care and very low-income parents with their children.
Then along came the Affordable Care Act. It was designed to grow health insurance coverage across the board. One of its tenets was to expand Medicaid coverage beyond the extremely poor and disabled to include all adults earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty levels.
But in 2012, the Supreme Court gave states the chance to opt out Medicaid expansion.
Illinois is one of 25 states that went ahead with expanding the program. Neighboring Missouri did not.
We looked into the impacts of those differing decisions. Here’s what we found out.
Imagine a bird that is eleven feet long and five feet tall at the hip. Like many birds it has a small head, feathers and long spindly legs. But it also bore some resemblance to reptiles, like long arms tipped with sharp claws and a long bony tail. Weighing it at 500 pounds, this is one big chicken.
In Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., about 100 residents gathered for a town hall meeting in 2013 to discuss a new frac sand mine in their backyard. Officials from the county, state and mining company attended to answer questions residents might have.
Neighbors peppered the panel with questions: How will the mine’s sand dust be regulated? How will you prevent it from getting into our lungs? How will the traffic and explosions affect my health, my property and the ecosystem? Concerns about breathing in the microscopic sand particles, which could lead to silicosis in the lungs, abounded.
Jane Hardy, who lives about 1000 feet from the mine, said she wasn’t satisfied with the answers.