Working for Expanded Health Care for the Homeless in Health Reform

… from National Public Radio

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Most homeless people in America are too poor to buy their own health coverage, but many also don’t qualify for Medicaid, the government-run health program for the poor.

Medicaid is mainly for people who have children or a disability, and most homeless people are childless adults. So, like 63-year-old Walter Brooks of Baltimore, they make do without insurance coverage.

“In 41 states, single adults are not eligible for Medicaid,” says Jeff Singer, president and CEO of Health Care for the Homeless of Maryland. “So you can have zero income and still not be eligible for any sort of health insurance.”

Singer and other advocates have been encouraged by the health care legislation now moving through Congress. The House-passed bill would expand Medicaid coverage to millions of additional low-income adults. The Senate Finance Committee is considering a similar move.

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