What’s in a name? The woodwork vs. welcome mat effect for kids

13 December 2018 Written by  

Voices for Utah Children is dedicated to increasing coverage and care for all Utah kids. With this comes the responsibility to rethink how our language can be more welcoming and inclusive. When referring to children who are eligible-but-unenrolled in public health insurance, but who may now enroll as a result of Medicaid expansion, the term “woodwork” or the “woodwork enrollment” is often used. This term suggests “to come or crawl out of the woodwork” according to the Oxford dictionary, and can have a derogatory connation. We believe a better phrase is the term the “welcome mat effect.” More children having access to health care is better for our state and allows children to be healthy and better able to reach their full potential. We are excited to welcome more children to these programs, especially as eligible but uninsured children obtain coverage thanks to Medicaid expansion for their parents.

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CiriacHealth Policy and Community Engagement Fellow

Ciriac is a proud immigrant who is passionate about immigrant rights, education, and health care. She is a community organizer, poet, and writer who uses her voice and online platform to advocate for her community.

During her undergraduate she was heavily involved in creating access to higher education for undocumented students on the University of Utah campus. After graduating, she has continued to work closely with the Enriching Utah Coalition (EUC) and serves as the Immigration Chair for the Utah Coalition of la Raza (UCLR) board to work on immigrant justice issues.

Ciriac graduated with a B.S. in Political Science and Honors Sociology  from the University of Utah. She was born in Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico and grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is excited to join Voices for Utah Children as the Health Policy and Community Engagement Fellow and hopes to continue her education by obtaining a J.D. or M.P.A.