In a number of other states, they’d be allowed to save for retirement, and Marcella wouldn’t have had to liquidate her 401( k) savings to qualify for public health insurance. Indeed, twenty-four states use no asset test for Medicaid. In these states, Marcella and Dave could do it all: save for retirement, college, and emergencies, and Dave could drive a safe car to work. But not in California, where they happen to live. The experience of the poor in means-tested programs varies tremendously across states.
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