2:25 PM Eastern - Thursday, March 27, 2014

"If you can save lives [by expanding Medicaid] and save money at the same time, it's a no-brainer." #default

Roslyn GadleyRoslyn Gadley is a home care worker in Alexandria, Va., and a member of SEIU Local 512. Because she lives in a state that has refused to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid, Gadley has found herself in what's called the "coverage gap" in those states and is having a hard time finding affordable health insurance.

Gadley is now trying to get insurance through marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but doesn't currently earn enough to qualify for the government subsidies that would make the marketplace plans more affordable.

President Obama's Affordable Care Act was designed to help people in Gadley's situation by expanding Medicaid in the states so she'd qualify. The funds would be paid entirely by the federal government, with the states eventually picking up 10 percent of the costs. Healthcare opponents, determined to see the law fail, have blocked the funds from coming into many state coffers.

See the effects of blocked Medicaid funds in Florida and Texas.


Gadley doesn't buy arguments opponents of Medicaid expansion have been touting in Richmond--that the program could end up costing Virginia too much money in the long term. "If people had access to preventive care now, they could get problems taken care of early--instead of costly visits to the emergency room down the road which taxpayers end up paying for," she said. "If you can save lives and save money at the same time, it's a no-brainer."

Gadley traveled to Richmond recently and spoke to a crowd in front of the Capitol in support of expanding Medicaid. She says it's important to stand up to elected leaders who cave to tea party pressure and look for reasons to block the Medicaid funds. "They are putting people's lives at risk," she said.

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