By | September 16, 2021

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NC POLICY WATCH

Groups call on Congress to act where recalcitrant states are failing

The following statement was issued yesterday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on behalf of an array of signatory nonprofits:

Princeton, N.J.—As nonprofit and philanthropic organizations devoted to improving health and health equity, dismantling structural racism, and advancing social justice, we strongly support Congress permanently closing the Medicaid coverage gap in its upcoming budget reconciliation legislation. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) empowered and incentivized states to expand their Medicaid programs, leading to nearly 19 million additional people gaining Medicaid coverage since 2014. Yet 12 states have refused for years to expand their Medicaid programs under the ACA, denying more than 2 million people—disproportionately people of color and with low incomes—access to quality and affordable healthcare coverage. It is crucial that the Medicaid coverage gap gets closed for good.

States that have expanded their Medicaid programs under the ACA have reaped significant benefits: higher rates of health insurance coverage, improved health outcomes, lower incidence of maternal mortality and premature death, and increased economic activity. Officials in states that have refused to do so are neglecting a critical opportunity to save lives and improve the health of their residents. If a pandemic cannot move these states to act, nothing will. Congress has the authority and responsibility to enact a federal solution that ends this injustice.

In a country as wealthy as the United States, it is unconscionable that a person’s access to healthcare often comes down to skin color, gender, income, geography, disability, and employment or immigration status.

It is long past time to achieve universal healthcare coverage in the United States, and the most important step we can take right now toward that goal is to close the Medicaid coverage gap once and for all.

Signatories of this statement:
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Heart Association
California Health Care Foundation
Community Catalyst
Ford Foundation
March of Dimes
Missouri Foundation for Health
NAACP
National Urban League
The Commonwealth Fund
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
UnidosUS
W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Category: Medicaid medical Opinion

About NC Policy Watch

Rob SchofieldDirector of NC Policy Watch, has three decades of experience as a lawyer, lobbyist, writer and commentator. At Policy Watch, Rob writes and edits daily online commentaries and handles numerous public speaking and electronic media appearances. He also delivers a radio commentary that’s broadcast weekdays on WRAL-FM and WCHL and hosts News and Views, a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. rob@ncpolicywatch.com 919-861-2065