Medicaid Expansion Is Urgently Needed in 12 States To Support Millions of Our Community Members
Providing our communities with access to affordable health coverage expands their access to essential healthcare services and lowers medical costs.
4 million people could live healthier, more equitable lives with Medicaid Expansion
12 states have callously refused to expand Medicaid, denying 4,000,000 people access to affordable, quality insurance and care.
Income should not determine health outcomes. But right now in these states, it does.
People without insurance coverage are twice as likely to accrue medical debt and are at greater risk of negative health outcomes. Members of our community can’t afford the skyrocketing cost of healthcare, and it is unacceptable.
What is Medicaid Expansion?
The American Rescue Plan Act granted all 50 states the opportunity to expand Medicaid. Under the American Rescue Plan, the federal government will pay 90% of the costs to expand Medicaid coverage to lower-income workers who cannot afford health insurance. 38 states and the District of Columbia have fully expanded Medicaid, guaranteeing quality, affordable care to almost 15 million Americans. These efforts have been broadly popular across demographics, regions, and party lines.
Medicaid Expansion Is Needed To Protect Our Communities, Particularly the Most Vulnerable
Expanding Medicaid has been proven to protect the health of our communities, our frontline workers, and our economy. And yet 12 states continue to refuse to expand Medicaid, even though their residents are already paying for it with their federal tax dollars. These states continue to deny residents affordable access to the care they deserve even in the face of considerable federal incentives and ample evidence that doing so saves money, saves lives, and helps keep rural hospitals open.
These 12 states’ failure to expand Medicaid has had catastrophic effects, preventing roughly 4 million people in those states from accessing life-saving health services. Residents of those 12 states also now carry a medical debt burden nearly 2 times that of states that expanded Medicaid in 2014. As communities become unable to pay their bills, the rural hospitals that serve them are at increasing risk of closing, leaving many without access to emergency rooms and basic healthcare services at times when they need them most.
Fortunately, these hospitals would be greatly aided through Medicaid expansion. Medicaid expansion has been proven to lower levels of uncompensated care and increase financial stability for rural hospitals as more of the population they serve will be insured, ensuring that hospitals will be paid for their services and will be better able to keep their doors open.
Medicaid Expansion Presents Opportunity for The South
Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana are among the 12 states that have not expanded Medicaid in the face of robust financial incentives and moral imperatives to do so. 8 of the 12 states are in the geographic South.
The disproportionate majority of the Georgians trapped in the Medicaid coverage gap are Black, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islanders, and those who live in rural communities. Those left in the Medicaid coverage gap are forced to make unfair and heartbreaking decisions about how to care for their families, their children, and themselves.
We can work together to end the devastating impacts of medical debt on the uninsured by expanding Medicaid. Not only would expanding Medicaid improve health outcomes for millions of Americans, it would also create more than 1 million jobs nationwide, with largest gains in:
- Texas (298,900)
- Florida (134,700)
- North Carolina (83,000), and
- Georgia (64,300)
Collectively, the 12 states that have not acted yet to protect their citizens could expand their economies by over $300 billion from 2022 to 2025 if they expanded Medicaid.
We must demand that our elected officials expand Medicaid in Georgia and the 11 other states that continue to refuse to help hard-working Americans who deserve access to quality healthcare. The future of our country’s well-being and the lives of our community members are on the line.
- Over 1.2 million people would have access to quality, affordable health insurance if Medicaid was expanded in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.
- Medicaid expansion currently grants health insurance coverage to almost 15 million adults in this country — up to age 65 — with incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level (currently $30,305 for a family of 3).
- 38 States have already granted their eligible residents access to Medicaid expansion. Just 12 states continue to deny full access.
- Medical debt balances have been shown to drop, on average, over $1,000 for a person who gains access to insurance coverage.