Future health care worker benefits from Medicaid expansion

Danielle Gaddis is a 26-year-old future medical student who was recently medically uninsured for two years. She previously had been covered through her mom’s health insurance, but Danielle lost coverage when her mother retired. 

Danielle said the most challenging part about not having insurance was avoiding visits to the doctor.

You can’t go to the doctor because you know the visit is going to have, not a copay, but a full payment that you’re going to have to come up with,” she said. “It puts you in a really awkward place when it comes to getting care because you have to wait til it’s really bad.”

Danielle graduated from Southern Nazarene University in 2017 and from Case Western Reserve University in 2020 with a master’s degree in applied anatomy. She hopes to start medical school next year and wants to eventually work with underserved communities.

“As a future health care provider, it’s important to me that everyone gets the care that they need, that everyone meets that basic level of care that you need to sustain a healthy life you can be happy in,” she said. “But for me myself, it was something that I couldn’t get, so it was a hard situation to balance out and really think about.”

Thanks to Oklahoma’s Medicaid expansion, Danielle was able to start receiving health care coverage in July. She believes everyone has a right to health care, and she was happy to see Oklahomans voted to expand Medicaid through SQ 802. 

“I can’t wait to come back after medical school to participate in the care that will be given to patients thanks to this expansion,” she said. 

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Danielle’s story was collected through our Countdown to Care campaign leading up to the July 1, 2021 deadline for Oklahoma to expand Medicaid coverage. The campaign was designed to help raise awareness about expansion while encouraging Oklahomans who need health care to apply with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Miguel Rios joined OK Policy as its Storybanker in May 2020. His career in communications began at Oklahoma City University where he graduated as a Clara Luper Scholar with a B.A. in Mass Communications. Before joining OK Policy, Miguel worked for Oklahoma Gazette, Oklahoma Living magazine and the State Fair of Texas public relations team. Through his diverse work experiences in various areas of communication, Miguel has become dedicated to providing a voice and platform to those who are often overlooked. A proud Mexican immigrant, Miguel carries his passion for empowering marginalized communities in every arena.

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