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Joy Burwell

Director, Communications

Medicaid is a Human Issue

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You’ve seen a lot of numbers detailing the impacts of the health care repeal bill. It is easy to get caught up in the numbers, but it is important to remember those numbers represent people. People like Katie. Katie started taking pain pills in high school and soon found herself taking up to eight a day. Thanks to Medicaid she is getting treatment and working on her college degree in biology.

People like Chip. Chip was unemployed, homeless and suffering from both physical and mental health issues. Medicaid enabled Chip to get mental health care that helped him work through years of emotional issues. He got back on his feet, returned to school and received his master’s degree in professional counseling. He now works full-time.

People like Sam. Sam struggled with schizophrenia, homelessness, and heroin, alcohol and cocaine use. He found himself in prison and tried taking his own life five times. Medicaid enabled him to access outpatient psychiatric services. He is sober, living in residential treatment, has a job and is beginning to re-engage with his family.

Katie, Chip and Sam are three reminders that Medicaid is a human issue.

Stories like these are an important advocacy tool. They can be used when talking with media, on social media and when meeting with legislators. If you have a story email We can use them to amplify your advocacy efforts.