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woman talks about what’s at stake for Americans as Medicaid unwinds for many

What’s at Stake for Americans as Medicaid Unwinds for Many

April 2, 2024

What’s at Stake for Americans as Medicaid Unwinds for Many

Ask students: What is Medicaid? How many people in the U.S. are covered by Medicaid? Who are some of the people who have access to Medicaid?

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Medicaid is the nation’s largest health insurance program, covering nearly 80 million people, or more than 1 in 5 Americans. For many people who have low incomes or a disability, or who are either very young or very old, it’s a vital government program. John Yang reports from Georgia for our series, “America’s Safety Net.”

View the transcript of the story.

Key terms

  • Medicaid — A U.S. federal health insurance program for children and people with low incomes
  • Medicare — A U.S.federal health insurance program available to senior citizens
Remote video URL

Discussion Questions

  1. What is Medicaid?
  2. How many people in the U.S. are covered by Medicaid?
  3. Who are some of the people who have access to Medicaid?
  4. Why have 11 million people recently lose Medicaid coverage?
  5. When did the "unwinding" process begin, and why?

Focus Questions

  • What do you think will be some of the impacts on communities across the U.S. of having 11 million people lose Medicaid coverage?
  • How would you reorganize the U.S. health insurance system to make it better for all Americans?
  • Media literacy: How can you find out more about how Medicaid operates in your state?

Extension Activity

Many politicians want to tie Medicaid eligibility to work requirements. Watch the following video about Medicaid expansion in Georgia and discuss — do you think work requirements for Medicaid make sense? What are some benefits and drawbacks of requiring them?

Remote video URL

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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