Don’t forget adults without children – now with charts!

Yesterday, I noted a post by Sarah Kliff that highlighted what will happen to families of three if states opt out of reform. Here it is again:

My problem with this chart is that it focuses on parents. But this is problematic because (1) many adults aren’t parents, and (2) Medicaid is FAR stingier to non-parents. So I asked WaPo to make a similar chart for adults without children. Unfortunately, they don’t jump when I demand it, so they didn’t make the chart. At least not yet.

Patience is not my virtue. So I made the chart myself (data here):

You can click to enlarge. But the gist is that in only 5 states will all childless adults under the poverty line have benefits. In two more, they’ll have benefits only if they fall below 72% or 75% of the poverty line. And in all the other states – all 43 of them – they will get no Medicaid at all, no matter how poor they are.

Compare that to the first chart. This is much, much worse. These people will be totally without recourse if states opt out of the Medicaid expansion. It’s time we stopped ignoring this fact. Traditional Medicaid is nowhere near the universal safety net many believe it to be.


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