Medicaid expansion has improved my life

Medicaid expansion has improved my life
Blog Stories Medicaid expansion has improved my life

I’m Janice Tufte and Medicaid expansion has dramatically improved my life.

I’m 60 years old, born and raised in Seattle, Washington, but I’ve lived all over before settling back here in Seattle. My mother was nurse and a strong Republican who taught us the importance of fighting for universal health care.

Care is personal for me in another way as well, as someone with multiple chronic conditions — asthma, osteoarthritis with mobilization problems, low vision, digestive diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome and others.

Thanks to the coverage I received following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, when I was having intense abdominal pain I was able to get a colonoscopy I would not have been able to afford. The procedure showed that I had a huge tumor on my colon that needed to be removed immediately. Thanks to early detection, I was able to get the tumor removed. Without Medicaid expansion, the colonoscopy would have cost me $6000 — too much for me to afford. I know multiple people my age who have died of colon cancer — if it wasn’t for the early detection, that could have been me.

I am also significantly less stressed about finances, am more willing to get all the necessary tests I need and can access care at more facilities across town. While I don’t take any medication every day, there is medication I must have access to in order to manage flare ups of my chronic conditions. Thanks to Medicaid expansion, more of my medications are now covered.

I am very concerned for myself but I am more concerned for others. I know there are many people across the country who will suffer tremendously if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

I believe that both the patient and caregiver voice is extremely important. I am honored to add my voice to the chorus of concerned Americans fighting for more just care for all! So far I have participated in a National Congressional call-in day, a National Family Caregiver and Healthcare conference call, and I will be attending a town hall in Seattle as a representative of Caring Across!

If you would like to join Caring Across Generations’ national network of activists, please contact Vanessa at