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THIS WEEK: Lawmakers and Advocates Join Protect Our Care to Celebrate Medicaid Awareness Month

Representatives Ruben Gallego, Adriano Espaillat, HHS Director Melissa Herd Headline Events Across the Nation

April is the sixth annual Medicaid Awareness Month, and Protect Our Care is hosting nationwide events to recognize the crucial role Medicaid plays in Americans’ health care and highlight how recent Republican attacks come at a time when more Americans are relying on the program than ever before. Over 85 million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid, which provides affordable care to people from all backgrounds, especially people with disabilities, people with mental health and substance use disorders, children, pregnant women, seniors in nursing homes, rural Americans, and people of color. But Republicans haven’t stopped their attacks. The latest GOP budget proposal slashes trillions from Medicaid through block grants, calls for work reporting requirements, and other bureaucratic measures designed to throw people off their coverage. GOP leaders in 10 states have failed to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), blocking 1.6 million people from lifesaving coverage. Medicaid has strengthened local economies, provided Americans with access to quality, affordable health care, and improved health outcomes across the country.

Throughout the month, Protect Our Care also released a series of fact sheets on how Medicaid is a lifeline for women and children, communities of color, rural Americans, seniors, and people with disabilities, as well as a report on Republican threats to Medicaid.

Upcoming Events:

ARIZONA

WHO:
Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-03)
UnidosUS
Chicanos Por La Causa
Protect Our Care Arizona

WHAT: Roundtable Discussion

WHERE: To RSVP and receive address and meeting room information, please email [email protected] with your name, title, and media outlet.

WHEN: Monday, April 22, 2024 at 10 AM MT // 1 PM ET

PENNSYLVANIA

WHO:
Melissa Herd, Region 3 Director, Department of Health and Human Services
Val Arkoosh, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
Devon Trolley, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority (Pennie)
Antoinette Kraus, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Protect Our Care Pennsylvania

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference

WHERE: Register to join the Zoom event (Registration required)

WHEN: Thursday, April 25, 2024 at 12 PM ET

NORTH CAROLINA

WHO:
Sen. Sydney Batch (NC-17)
Rep. Sarah Crawford  (NC-66)
Kody Kinsley, Secretary, NC Department of Health and Human Services
Protect Our Care North Carolina

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference

WHERE: Register to join the Zoom event (Registration required)

WHEN: Thursday, April 25, 2024 at 2 PM ET

VIRGINIA

WHO:
Delegate Kannan Srinivasan (VA-26)
Delegate Mark Sickles (VA-17)
Delegate Rodney Willett (VA-73)
Protect Our Care Virginia

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference

WHERE: Register to join the Zoom event (Registration required)

WHEN: Friday, April 26, 2024 at 10 AM ET

NEW YORK

WHO:
Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13)
Protect Our Care New York

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference

WHERE: Register to join the Zoom event (Registration required)

WHEN: Tuesday, April 30, 2024 at 12 PM ET

Past Events:

ARIZONA

Wednesday, April 17 – Medicaid Awareness Month Virtual Event with Leading Arizona Health Care Experts: Arizona health care advocates from Children’s Action Alliance, Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans, Valle del Sol Community Health Center, Chicanos Por La Causa joined Protect Our Care Arizona to discuss the importance of Medicaid and how expanding the program has benefited Arizonans of all ages. “The Affordable Care Act expansion of Medicaid to lower-income adults is preventing thousands of premature deaths for adults aged 55 to 64,” said Claudia Boyer, Director of Resource Navigation Systems for Chicanos Por La Causa.  “Together AHCCCS and Kids Care are responsible for record-high rates of health insurance for kids nationally and in Arizona. They help protect families from medical debt, give them peace of mind, and allow their kids to grow up healthy and succeed in life,” said Matt Jewett, Health Policy Director for Children’s Action Alliance. You can watch the event here and view the post-event release here.

NEVADA 

Thursday, April 18 – Medicaid Awareness Month Event with Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro and Advocates: Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro and Holly Welborn, Executive Director of Children Advocacy Alliance joined Protect Our Care Nevada to highlight the vital role the Medicaid program serves in providing affordable health care coverage and access to services for Nevadans. One in four Americans relies on Medicaid for access to health care, and the program serves people from all backgrounds, including children, mothers, people of color, people with disabilities, working families, rural Americans, and seniors. “Medicaid covers more than 40% of births in the United States. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, states were given the option to extend coverage to new mothers for one year postpartum, which improves maternal health outcomes,” said Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizarro. “In Nevada, I made that permanent by sponsoring and passing Senate Bill 232. New mothers in Nevada went from having 2 months of postpartum coverage to 12 months.” You can watch the event here, and view the post-event release here.

Coverage:

  • KTVN (CBS): NV Dems Highlight Medicaid Impact on Statewide Healthcare Reform
  • KTVN (CBS): Democratic leaders join Protect Our Care to discuss providing health coverage to low income families

FACT SHEET: Medicaid Is A Lifeline For People With Disabilities

April marks the 7th annual Medicaid Awareness Month. Medicaid is a vital source of care for people with disabilities across the country and helps ensure they can access quality care. Up to 1 in 4 Americans have some type of disability. The program also provides half of all long-term care in the United States, which includes essential home- and community-based services for people with disabilities. Protecting access to Medicaid is essential for ensuring that people with disabilities get the care they need. 

Medicaid is a popular, lifesaving program, but Republicans want to cut it and rip coverage away from millions of hardworking families. Voters agree that it is important to prevent harmful cuts to Medicaid that would reduce health care access. Yet the latest GOP scheme slashes trillions from Medicaid and would throw millions of people off their coverage through block granting and burdensome work reporting requirements. These requirements are especially cruel for Americans with disabilities who may not be able to work long hours or secure a health-related exemption from the requirement. Republicans also won’t quit their mission to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid expansion, putting health care for millions of people in jeopardy.  

By The Numbers 

  • 1 In 3 Medicaid Enrollees Have A Disability. One-third of Medicaid enrollees report having a disability, and 11 percent of enrollees qualified for Medicaid based on a disability determination.
  • Up To 1 In 4 U.S. Adults Have A Disability. Up to 27 percent of American adults have some type of disability. Medicaid covers 43 percent of nonelderly adults with disabilities, including adults with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and mental illnesses.
  • Over 10 Million Non-Elderly Adults Are Enrolled in Medicaid Due To At Least One Disability. More than 10 million people under age 65 enrolled in Medicaid qualified as a result of a disability determination. Other individuals with disabilities may qualify for Medicaid due to age, pregnancy, or income.
  • Medicaid Covers Half Of All Long-Term Care. The Medicaid program provides half of all long-term care in the United States, which includes essential home- and community-based services for people with disabilities.
  • Millions Lose Medicaid Coverage In Unwinding Post-Pandemic. As Medicaid transitions back to its pre-pandemic eligibility and enrollment rules, too many people are losing coverage because of the carelessness and callousness of certain Republican governors who are terminating coverage for people who may still be eligible. Americans with disabilities are at an increased risk of losing Medicaid coverage due to the renewal process barrier, regardless of whether individuals remain eligible.

Americans with disabilities have faced barriers to achieving and maintaining optimal health. They are 1.4x more likely to have obesity, 2x more likely to smoke, 2x more likely to have diabetes, and 2.8x more likely to have heart disease. Yet 1 in 4 report having an unmet health care need because of cost in the past year and the same proportion report not having a usual health care provider. Medicaid enrollees with disabilities have access to regular preventive care and treatment for chronic illnesses and conditions. States are also required to provide key services for adults, such as hospital stays, physician, lab, and x-ray services, and nursing home care.

In 2010, the ACA opened the door for states to expand Medicaid, and the results are piling in: Medicaid expansion works. In addition to providing coverage for about 24 million people, expansion has resulted in healthier people, communities, and economies. Study after study shows that Medicaid expansion increases access to care, improves financial security, and leads to better health outcomes for people with disabilities. 

People With Disabilities Rely On Medicaid Expansion For Coverage. More than six in 10 nonelderly Medicaid adults with disabilities do not receive SSI, meaning that they qualify for Medicaid on another basis (such as income, or as parents in non-expansion states). Medicaid is a significant source of health care coverage for these adults, providing critical access to care for serious health conditions and supporting those in the workforce.

Medicaid Expansion Helps Adults With Disabilities Gain Access To Affordable Care Without Having To Wait. Medicaid expansion helps adults with disabilities gain quicker access to coverage without waiting for a disability determination, which can take years. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid expansion has allowed people gain coverage who previously were not eligible for coverage and otherwise would have been uninsured. Many uninsured individuals with pre-existing conditions who would not have qualified for Social Security Disability Insurance yet are also eligible for coverage under Medicaid expansion.

Medicaid Expansion Has Improved Health Care Services For People With Disabilities. According to the same 2021 study, Medicaid expansion often improves the services provided to people with disabilities, as states have been able to provide better coverage of critical services including specialized treatments and coverage for behavioral health concerns and other chronic conditions.

Medicaid Expansion Reduces Out-Of-Pocket Health Care Spending, Which Is Especially Important For People With Disabilities Who Often Have Limited Incomes. A majority, or nearly 85 percent, of adults with disabilities who have Medicaid coverage earn annual incomes of less than 200 percent of the FPL, $12,060 for an individual, making access to affordable health care even more essential. In 2022, CMS adopted rules to lower maximum out-of-pocket costs by $400.

Medicaid Is One Of The Most Effective Anti-Poverty Programs, Particularly For People With Disabilities. Medicaid reduces poverty by limiting out-of-pocket spending and expanding state-level Medicaid programs.  The average out-of-pocket spending decreased in states that expanded Medicaid. The poverty-reducing effects were greatest for adults with disabilities, elderly, children, and racial/ethnic minorities.

Medicaid Expansion Has Increased Employment For People With Disabilities. According to a 2021 study, individuals with disabilities living in Medicaid expansion states are more likely to be employed than those living in non-expansion states. In expansion states, people with disabilities have seen increased health coverage and employment rates compared to non-expansion states. On the other hand, Republican-backed work reporting requirements reduce employment and can jeopardize health care for people with disabilities because definitions are outdated and don’t accommodate many types of disabilities that affect peoples’ ability to work. 

Hundreds of Thousands of Americans With Disabilities Are Stuck Without Coverage In States That Have Refused to Expand Medicaid. 10 states have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), stranding many adults with low incomes in the Medicaid coverage gap. As a result, over 265,000 Americans with disabilities with incomes below the federal poverty level are ineligible for Medicaid or ACA marketplace assistance in these states. Over half of these individuals reside in Texas or Florida, and adults with disabilities form at least 20 percent of those in the Medicaid coverage gap in Alabama, South Carolina, Kansas, Tennessee, and Wyoming. 

 

Medicaid Helps People With Disabilities Access Comprehensive, Consistent Long-Term Care. Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities comprised 95 percent of the fees for service of long-term care services while making up less than 25 percent of people who are enrolled in the program. 

  • Medicaid Provides Half Of Long-Term Care In The U.S. Medicaid provides half the nation’s long-term care – a broad category encompassing a critical array of services available for people with prolonged illnesses, disabilities, and other chronic conditions. Medicaid providers and consumers have worked to broaden access to care in at-home and community-based settings, where many seniors and people with disabilities would prefer to live.

Increased Medicaid Funding For Caregivers Benefits People With Disabilities. The Biden-Harris administration recently finalized new rules that require Medicaid to provide increased funding for home care services, a critical component of care for millions of people with disabilities who rely on care workers to meet their basic needs while living in their homes and communities.

Protect Our Care will continue to host events and activities throughout Medicaid Awareness Month, which includes the following themes each week:

  • Week 1: Republican threats to Medicaid. In the first week of Medicaid Awareness Month, Protect Our Care focused on how Republicans are actively seeking cuts to Medicaid while GOP leaders in 10 states continue to block Medicaid expansion. 
  • Week 2: Medicaid helps people of color and rural Americans. In week two, Protect Our Care highlighted how Medicaid is a critical tool to expand access to coverage, which together with policies that address other social and structural determinants of health, narrow stark disparities in health care, improve families’ financial security, and make people healthier. 
  • Week 3: Medicaid helps women and kids. For week three, Protect Our Care brought attention to the vital role of Medicaid for mothers and children across the country.
  • Week 4: Medicaid helps seniors and people with disabilities. The final week focuses on how Medicaid helps seniors and people with disabilities access lifesaving care. 

FACT SHEET: Medicaid is Essential For Seniors & Older Adults’ Coverage

Medicaid Is the Largest Funder of Long-Term Care For Seniors and Without It, Millions Would Be Without Care

This April marks the 7th annual Medicaid Awareness Month. Medicaid remains a critical source of coverage as Americans age, with Medicaid serving as a primary funder for long-term care and filling many of the gaps in Medicare coverage, such as premium costs, transportation to medical appointments, and medical equipment. 18.2 million Americans aged 50 and up rely on Medicaid coverage. Without Medicaid, millions of seniors would be forced to go without lifesaving care. These benefits often go unnoticed but are essential to the health and well-being of seniors nationwide.  

Medicaid is a popular, lifesaving program, but Republicans want to cut it and rip coverage away from millions of hardworking families. Over 66 percent of Americans, including 55 percent of Republicans, have a favorable opinion of Medicaid. Voters agree that it is important to prevent harmful cuts to Medicaid that would reduce health care access. Yet the latest GOP scheme slashes trillions from Medicaid and would throw millions of people off their coverage through block granting and burdensome work reporting requirements. Republicans also won’t quit their mission to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid expansion, putting health care for millions of women and families in jeopardy. 

By The Numbers

  • Millions of Seniors & Older Americans Rely On Medicaid Coverage. 7.2 million Americans over 65 are enrolled in Medicaid and more than 11 million Americans ages 50 to 64 have health coverage through Medicaid – many thanks to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.
  • Nearly 6 Million Older Adults Live Below The Federal Poverty Level. For millions of seniors and older Americans on fixed incomes, Medicaid is a lifeline.
  • Medicaid Funds Nearly Half Of Long-Term Care Nationwide. As seniors age, long-term care services become more essential, serving about 70 percent of seniors who will need some form of long-term care in their lives.
  • 1.5 Million People Would Gain Coverage If Remaining States Expanded Medicaid. 1.5 million people would gain Medicaid coverage if the remaining states implemented expansion, roughly 270,000 of the uninsured in the coverage gap are aged 55-64.
  • Medicaid Pays For 62 Percent Of Long-Term Care Residents In Nursing Homes. Medicaid covers nursing home bills for over 60 percent of residents in nursing homes. In 2019, this totaled over $50 billion. The median private nursing home room cost over $100,000 yearly in 2024.
  • 12 Million Medicare Beneficiaries Also Have Medicaid Coverage. Nearly 8 million of the dual eligible Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries are “full benefit” Medicaid enrollees who have access to a range of Medicaid benefits, not otherwise covered by Medicare.

Seniors And Older Adults Depend On Medicaid For Affordable, Comprehensive Care. As of 2021, 3.6 million older adults are going without coverage. Older Americans often have more complex health issues, requiring additional medical attention that is costly, pushing care out of reach. For seniors on Medicare, Medicaid helps fill many of the gaps in Medicare coverage, such as transportation to medical appointments and medical equipment. 

Medicaid Supplements Medicare Coverage For Millions Of Seniors. 12 million seniors are eligible Medicare-Medicaid dual beneficiaries. Nearly 8 million are “full benefit” Medicaid enrollees who have access to a range of Medicaid benefits, not otherwise covered by Medicare. Nearly half of dual enrollees are seniors of color and over half of dual enrollees suffer from long-term disabilities. 

Medicaid Helps Seniors And Older Americans Stay Retired And Out Of Poverty. Many seniors and older Americans survive off of low incomes or have chronic health conditions that prohibit them from working. Medicaid allows these individuals living on fixed incomes and often have chronic diseases to continue getting the care they need by filling in the gaps in their Medicare coverage without having to worry about choosing between food and housing or their health. Medicaid has long been considered one of the most effective anti-poverty programs in the nation, and its expansion has significantly improved health outcomes for seniors and older adults. In a nation where out-of-pocket health care spending forced more than 10 million Americans into poverty in 2016 alone, Medicaid serves as a lifeline not only for health care, but for economic stability as Americans age. A January 2021 study from Health Affairs found that the ACA helped reduce income inequality across the board, but much more dramatically in Medicaid expansion states.

Low-Income Seniors With Medicare Depend On Medicaid For Long-Term Care. It is estimated that 70 percent of seniors will need long-term care at some point and 62 percent of nursing facility residents utilize Medicaid to receive their care. Medicaid is a critical provider of home- and community-based care that are essential to keep loved ones at home with their families and neighbors. Without Medicaid, many seniors would not be able to afford these needed services with Medicare alone. 84 percent of individuals in nursing facilities covered by Medicaid in 2019 were dually eligible, with Medicaid covering costs once Medicare benefits have been depleted. 

Increased Medicaid Funding For Caregivers Benefits People With Disabilities. The Biden-Harris administration recently announced renewed efforts to increase Medicaid funding for caregivers, a critical contingent of care for millions of people with disabilities who rely on these types of providers to meet their basic needs.

Hundreds of Thousands of Seniors Are Stuck In The Medicaid Coverage Gap. 10 states have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), stranding many seniors with low incomes in the Medicaid coverage gap. As a result, over 407,000 older Americans with incomes below the federal poverty level are ineligible for Medicaid or ACA marketplace assistance in these states. Over half of these individuals reside in Texas or Florida, and seniors from at least 25 percent of those in the Medicaid coverage gap in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida.

  • Over 10,000 Older Americans Died Prematurely Due To States’ Decisions Not To Expand Medicaid. Due to states’ decisions not to expand Medicaid under the ACA, 10,444 older Americans died prematurely between 2014 and 2017 alone in the 10 states that have refused to expand the program.

Protect Our Care will continue to host events and activities throughout Medicaid Awareness Month, which includes the following themes each week:

  • Week 1: Republican threats to Medicaid. Week one will focus on how Republicans are actively seeking cuts to Medicaid while GOP leaders in 10 states continue to block Medicaid expansion. 
  • Week 2: Medicaid helps people of color and rural Americans. Week two will highlight how Medicaid is a critical tool to expand access to coverage, which together with policies that address other social and structural determinants of health, narrow stark disparities in health care, improve families’ financial security, and make people healthier. 
  • Week 3: Medicaid helps women and kids. Week three will bring attention to the vital role of Medicaid for mothers and children across the country.
  • Week 4: Medicaid helps seniors and people with disabilities. The final week will focus on how Medicaid helps seniors and people with disabilities access lifesaving care.

GREED WATCH: Johnson & Johnson Raked In Over $21 Billion In Revenue In The First Three Months of 2024

This morning, Johnson & Johnson announced it raked in $21.4 billion this quarter – a 2.3 percent increase over last year. They make billions while charging Americans prices up to four times higher than in other countries, forcing patients to cut pills and skip doses to make ends meet. Johnson & Johnson is suing the Biden Administration to block Medicare from negotiating lower prices, protecting their profits by raising costs for seniors. 

  • During the call, CEO Joaquin Duato bragged about the company’s “solid first quarter performance,” and lauded his company as an “innovation powerhouse.”
  • Johnson & Johnson rewarded its shareholders by paying out $2.9 billion in dividends this quarter.
  • Johnson & Johnson manufactures three drugs that were selected among the first ten drugs to have lower prices: Xarelto, Stelara, and Imbruvica. These three drugs alone brought in a combined $3.75 billion in sales this quarter, and the company has raked in around $117.5 billion collectively in sales from these drugs since their launch.
  • Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, is suing the Biden administration to stop Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices for patients because it would endanger their massive profits. During the call, Johnson & Johnson said the program was “damaging to the health care innovation system,” despite maintaining that “we feel real confident about the state of our business” in light of having three of their drugs subject to lower negotiated prices. 
  • Over 80 percent of voters support giving Medicare the power to negotiate, making it the most popular provision in the Inflation Reduction Act. 
  • Johnson & Johnson announced the acquisition of medical device company Shockwave Medical for $13.1 billion and completed its acquisition of cancer biotech company Ambrx for $2 billion this quarter.

The Inflation Reduction Act brings down prescription drug costs for everyday Americans, especially seniors, by capping the price of insulin at $35 per month and providing free vaccines including shingles, giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices, and limiting the amount people have to pay each year for prescription drugs to $2,000 annually starting in 2025. 

Read more:

FACT SHEET: Big Drug Companies Are In Court To Stop Medicare From Negotiating Lower Prices In Order To Protect Sky-High Profits

FACT SHEET: New Estimates Find That Medicare Negotiations Will Lower Drug Prices By Thousands of Dollars Every Year, Finally Limiting the Power of Big Drug Companies

REPORT: Why Medicare Needs the Power to Negotiate for Lower Drug Costs: The Five Drugs That Tell the Story

New Navigator Poll Shows Voters Support Raising Taxes on the Rich and Corporations to Pay for Lower Health Care Costs

Lowering the Cost of Drugs is the Top 3 Most Popular Parts of the Biden Budget

New polling from Navigator Research confirms President Biden’s proposed budget of lowering health care costs and making the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share is overwhelmingly popular, regardless of party. 

Two of the most popular parts of President Biden’s proposed budget are extending the $35 a month cap on insulin prices to Americans who need it, not just seniors (82%), and expanding the number of prescription drugs Medicare can negotiate lower prices for (83%). These build on popular reforms already passed in the Inflation Reduction Act. Not only are both reforms widely supported, but they have high levels of support with independents – 79% and 80%, respectively. In addition to those reforms that lower costs, Biden’s plan to close tax loopholes for companies like Big Pharma has strong support (77%). 

The policies outlined are in direct opposition to the Republican threats to defund Medicare and Medicaid and to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

FACT SHEET: Medicaid Works For Women & Children

April marks the 7th annual Medicaid Awareness Month. Medicaid is an essential source of coverage for women and children. More than 18 million, or nearly 1 in 5, adult women are enrolled in Medicaid. Approximately 40 million, or half of all children in the U.S., are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Medicaid coverage brings affordable care and financial security to women and families, and it helps narrow racial and rural disparities in health care. As the nation faces an unacceptably high and worsening rate of pregnancy-related death, Medicaid coverage is more important than ever to help pregnant women and new moms access the health care they need. 

Medicaid is a popular, lifesaving program, but Republicans want to cut it and rip coverage away from millions of hardworking families. Over 66 percent of Americans, including 55 percent of Republicans, have a favorable opinion of Medicaid. Voters agree that it is important to prevent harmful cuts to Medicaid that would reduce health care access. Yet the latest GOP scheme slashes trillions from Medicaid and would throw millions of people off their coverage through block granting and burdensome work reporting requirements. And as Medicaid transitions back to its pre-pandemic eligibility and enrollment rules, too many people, especially children are losing coverage because of the carelessness and callousness of certain Republican governors who are terminating coverage for people who may still be eligible. Republicans also won’t quit their mission to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid expansion, putting health care for millions of women and families in jeopardy.  

By The Numbers

  • Medicaid Covers Nearly 18.5 Million Women Nationwide. 18.44 million adult women ages 19-64 rely on Medicaid for coverage.
  • Most Women On Medicaid Are Working Or Have Caregiving Responsibilities. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the vast majority of women enrolled in Medicaid work, including mothers on Medicaid. In 2020, 93 percent of women enrolled in Medicaid were either working, going to school, at home caring for young children or relatives, or experiencing an illness or disability that does not permit them to work. 
  • Medicaid Is A Major Source Of Coverage For Women Of Color. Due to systemic inequality that results in fewer women of color having access to employer-provided coverage, women of color are disproportionately likely to enroll in Medicaid. 31 percent of Black women and 27 percent of Hispanic or Latina women rely on Medicaid, compared with just over 16 percent of white individuals. Women of color experience higher rates of poverty than white women and remain less likely to have access to quality care.
  • Medicaid Covers Nearly Half Of Women With Disabilities. Medicaid covers more than 44 percent of nonelderly women with mental and physical disabilities. As of 2019, Medicaid was the source of health coverage for one in four American women with mental illness.
  • Over 50 Percent Of Children Are Enrolled In Medicaid And CHIP. Approximately 40 million children in the United States are enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP. 
  • 1.6 Million People Would Gain Coverage If Remaining States Expanded Medicaid. Estimates from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that roughly 1.6 million people, including children, would enroll in Medicaid and CHIP if the remaining 10 states implemented expansion. These states are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wyoming, and Wisconsin. 
  • The Children’s Uninsured Rate In Medicaid Holdout States Is Double The Rate In Expansion States. In 2021, the child uninsured rate was 7.1 percent in holdout states, compared to 4 percent in states that adopted expansion. If holdout states expanded Medicaid, the number of uninsured children would drop by 7.3 percent
  • Almost Half Of Births Are Covered By Medicaid. Medicaid covers over 40 percent of births in the United States. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, states were given the option to extend coverage to new mothers for one year postpartum, which improves maternal health outcomes. Congress subsequently made this option permanent as part of end-of-year legislation signed into law at the end of 2022. 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States Virgin Islands have extended postpartum Medicaid coverage for a full year, and Nevada and Idaho are planning to do so. Arkansas, Iowa, and Wisconsin have not extended postpartum coverage. 

Medicaid Coverage Benefits Mothers And Women Of All Ages

Medicaid Is The Largest Payer Of Reproductive Health Care Coverage. Medicaid covers nearly 17 million women of reproductive age, giving them access to reproductive health care services such as birth control, cancer screenings, and maternity care without cost-sharing. Medicaid’s reproductive health coverage is especially important in states that have further restricted access to abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

  • Expanding Access To Care At Every Stage. There is an urgent need for quality, affordable health coverage prior to, during, and after giving birth. The United States continues to experience the highest rates of maternal mortality among wealthy nations, deaths that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data show are largely preventable. While 48 percent of maternal deaths occur during pregnancy and delivery, more than half, 52 percent, occur in the year following the birth of a child. Recent CDC data show that 4 in 5 of maternal deaths are preventable. 12 percent of maternal deaths are deemed “late,” occurring between six weeks and one year following delivery, demonstrating the immense need for continuous health access and coverage for a minimum of one year following the birth of a child. The Biden-Harris Administration has established a pathway to coverage, providing states the opportunity to extend postpartum coverage under Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months following birth. Currently, 47 states have elected to extend Medicaid coverage for a full year postpartum.
  • More Than Four In 10 Births Are Covered By Medicaid. More than 4 in 10 births were financed by Medicaid in 2022. Rates varied across the nation, with 61 percent of births financed by Medicaid in Louisiana, and 22 percent in Utah. Medicaid covers 65 percent of all births to Black mothers and 59 percent of all births to Latina mothers.
  • Expanding Medicaid & Closing The Coverage Gap Is Critical To Improving Maternal Health. Women of color consistently experience higher rates of maternal mortality than white women, largely due to the intersection of health with race, gender, poverty, geography, and other social factors.
  • Medicaid Helps Keep Families Out Of Debt. 41 percent of Americans reported having debt due to medical costs or bills. Since Medicaid was expanded by the ACA, the program has covered the medical expenses of millions more poor and near-poor adults than it did previously, helping prevent households from becoming poor because of medical spending.

Medicaid Improves Access To Care For Women. Women with Medicaid are far more likely to receive care than uninsured women. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, women with Medicaid coverage are less likely than women with private insurance to report delaying or forgoing care due to cost. Women with Medicaid coverage receive preventive care such as cancer screenings and well-women services at roughly the same rates as women with private coverage and at a higher rate than women without insurance. 

Medicaid Helps Pay For Long-Term Care, Relied On By Elderly Women. Medicaid pays for roughly half of the nation’s long-term services and supports. In 2019, women accounted for 59 percent of the 12.3 million dual-eligibles, or people who rely on both Medicare and Medicaid for coverage. Most dual-eligibles are elderly, and many need Medicaid coverage for their long-term care needs.

Medicaid Creates Jobs In The Health Industry, Which Is Overwhelmingly Female. Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that there are 15.5 million frontline health care workers — 77 percent of which are women — establishing Medicaid as a major job creator for women. 

Medicaid Coverage Has Long-Term Benefits For Children 

Research Shows Medicaid Prevents Child Deaths. A 2020 study found that children who received health insurance through Medicaid were less likely to die young, be employed in their adult life, and less likely to develop a disability as an adult. 

Medicaid Helps Children Stay Healthy, Leads To Long-Term Benefits For Children When They Grow Up. Medicaid eligibility during childhood lowers the high school dropout rate, raises college enrollment, and increases four-year college attainment. Medicaid for children also has a positive impact on employment opportunities later in life. For each additional year of Medicaid eligibility as a child, adults by age 28 had higher earnings and made $533 additional cumulative tax payments due to their higher incomes.

Thanks To Medicaid, Students Have Access To The Resources They Need To Focus In School. Medicaid’s Early Periodic Screening Diagnostic and Treatment benefit gives children under 21 years old access to comprehensive and preventive health services, such as yearly physicals, hearing, vision, and dental screenings, and physical, mental, and developmental disability treatments. The benefit also helps students gain access to medical supplies, such as hearing aids, glasses, and assistive technology, to help them succeed in school. 

The ACA’s Medicaid Expansion Helps Children Gain Access To Care

After the ACA expanded access to Medicaid, the children’s uninsured rate fell to an all-time low. Research confirms expanding access to Medicaid for parents has had ripple effects for their children. At the same time, the 10 states that continue to reject expansion are limiting children’s health care access: 

Medicaid Expansion Led To Gains In Coverage For Children As Well As Parents. Parents enrolled in Medicaid are more likely to access the support they need to be a healthy and effective parent. When parents gain coverage they are more likely to enroll the whole family, so the family will be protected from the economic strains of medical debt and lay the groundwork for optimal child development. Children of parents who are enrolled in Medicaid are more likely themselves to have coverage, due to parents having a more straightforward experience adding their children than if they have never signed up for coverage before. Medicaid for children will save families an estimated $1,222 per year per child when states implement 12-month continuous Medicaid and CHIP eligibility.

The Children’s Uninsured Rate In States That Have Rejected Expansion Is Twice The Rate In States That Expanded The Program — And That Gap Is Growing. The rate of uninsured children in states that have not expanded their Medicaid coverage grew at nearly three times the rate than that of states that have expanded Medicaid coverage. Texas and Florida, two non-expansion states, were responsible for 41 percent of coverage losses for children in a three-year period. 

When Parents Have Health Insurance, Children Are More Likely To Have Coverage. When parents are covered, their children are more likely to have access to health care and have long term benefits from that coverage. Adults who had health insurance as a child were more likely to have better health as adults, including fewer hospitalizations and emergency visits. Medicaid eligibility during childhood is also more linked to a higher likelihood of graduating from high school and college, as well as having higher wages in adulthood.

Protect Our Care will continue to host events and activities throughout Medicaid Awareness Month, which includes the following themes each week:

  • Week 1: Republican threats to Medicaid. Week one will focus on how Republicans are actively seeking cuts to Medicaid while GOP leaders in 10 states continue to block Medicaid expansion. 
  • Week 2: Medicaid helps people of color and rural Americans. Week two will highlight how Medicaid is a critical tool to expand access to coverage, which together with policies that address other social and structural determinants of health, narrow stark disparities in health care, improve families’ financial security, and make people healthier. 
  • Week 3: Medicaid helps women and kids. Week three will bring attention to the vital role of Medicaid for mothers and children across the country.
  • Week 4: Medicaid helps seniors and people with disabilities. The final week will focus on how Medicaid helps seniors and people with disabilities access lifesaving care. 

STATEMENT: Trump Lies About His Goal to Repeal the ACA and Throw the Health Care System Into Chaos

Trump Pledges Four More Years of Lies and Chaos in Our Health Care

Washington DC —  Yesterday, in a desperate attempt to cover up his abysmal health care record, Donald Trump denied that he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — a direct contradiction of his own actions and words. In reality, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump sabotaged affordable health care and pre-existing condition protections while he was in office, and has renewed his calls to “terminate” the ACA at least seven times over the last several months. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement: 

“Trump can’t run from his health care record. But Trump knows he is out of step with the American people, so he is doing what he knows best: lying to the American people. Trump’s first goal as president was to repeal the ACA, and even when he failed, he spent his presidency sabotaging it until the bitter end. Trump’s disastrous health care record includes tirelessly working to repeal the ACA, deliberately sabotaging affordable health care, botching the nation’s COVID response, and upending women’s health care by overturning Roe v. Wade. The consequences of another Trump presidency would be devastating for American families’ health and financial security.”

Black Maternal Health Week: Biden-Harris Administration Fights to Save Lives While Republicans Upend Women’s Health Care

Washington, D.C. — Today marks the first day of Black Maternal Health Week, a critical reminder that the U.S. is facing a devastating maternal health crisis. Women in America are dying at a higher rate than women in any other high-income country, and Black women are two to three times more likely than white women to die of pregnancy-related causes. Access to lifesaving care is increasingly more difficult as one-third of U.S. counties are considered maternity care deserts. Complications related to pregnancy led to over 700 deaths in 2022, most of them preventable.

While Democrats have worked tirelessly to improve the health of mothers and their families, Republicans are proposing to cut Medicaid and Marketplace coverage, which would throw millions of women off their health plans. The Biden-Harris administration is committed to blocking these proposals and is dedicated to expanding and improving maternal health care. The White House released the Biden-Harris Administration’s Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, a government-wide strategy to cut the rates of maternal mortality and morbidity and reduce disparities among maternal health outcomes. In addition, the administration has worked to expand the number of states offering or planning to offer a full year of postpartum Medicaid coverage from 13 states in 2021 to 47 states and the District of Columbia.

In recognition of Black Maternal Health Week, Protect Our Care Policy and Health Equity Senior Advisor Joi Chaney issued the following statement: 

“Black moms across the nation are facing a maternal mortality crisis that is heartbreaking and largely preventable. What’s worse, and more insulting, is that this crisis comes at a time when Republican attacks on reproductive health and abortion are at their height and reproductive freedom and justice is at its lowest in a generation. President Biden and Vice President Harris have taken action to improve maternal health outcomes for all women and close disparities for Black women and other women of color by lowering health care costs, expanding Medicaid coverage, diversifying the perinatal workforce, strengthening social and economic support for pregnant women and new parents, and supporting postpartum health, including mental health. They understand what it means to truly have family values, and that starts with prioritizing maternal health.”

NEW VIDEO: Protect Our Care Celebrates 7th Annual Medicaid Awareness Month

While Republicans Propose Medicaid Cuts, Democrats Fight to Protect Affordable Health Care. 

Watch the video here.

Washington, D.C. — Protect Our Care released a new video in celebration of the seventh annual Medicaid Awareness Month this April. One in four Americans rely on Medicaid for access to health care. Medicaid coverage saves lives and improves health outcomes nationwide, serving people from all backgrounds, including children, mothers, people of color, working families, people with disabilities, rural Americans, and seniors. 

President Biden and Democrats in Congress have been champions for lowering health care costs and improving care for the American people. They have defended Medicaid from GOP attacks, created multi-billion dollar incentives for Medicaid expansion, stopped onerous work requirements, pushed for expanded postpartum coverage, and worked to minimize the impacts of Medicaid unwinding. The contrast with Republicans could not be clearer. Republican lawmakers continue to escalate their attacks against Medicaid and affordable health care. The latest GOP budget slashes trillions from Medicaid through block granting and calls for work reporting requirements and other bureaucratic measures designed to throw people off their coverage. GOP leaders in 10 states have also failed to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), blocking 1.6 million people from lifesaving coverage. 

Medicaid Awareness Month is a celebration of how this vital health care program has touched millions of families across the nation. Medicaid coverage improves people’s health, keeps hospitals open, increases families’ financial security, and saves lives. Yet Republicans want to slash Medicaid and throw millions of people off of their coverage. As we celebrate, let’s commit to protecting this lifesaving program from Republican attacks and strengthening it for generations to come.

Background:

FACT SHEET: Republicans Propose Budget That Will Raise Health Care Costs and Rip Coverage Away from Millions of Americans

FACT SHEET: Medicaid Is a Vital Source of Coverage for Communities Of Color

FACT SHEET: Medicaid Works For Rural Americans

FACT SHEET: Medicaid Works For Rural Americans

Republicans in 10 States Are Blocking Medicaid Expansion, Jeopardizing Health Care and Increasing Health Care Costs for Rural Americans

This April marks the 7th annual Medicaid Awareness Month. About one in five – 66 million – Americans reside in rural areas across the United States and nearly 14 million are enrolled in Medicaid. Medicaid is a vital source of coverage for people across rural America, who are more likely to lack insurance, experience negative health outcomes, and have more barriers to accessing care. The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion has been a critical part of working towards the goal of closing gaps in health outcomes for rural Americans. Medicaid expansion saves lives, helps keep rural hospitals open, improves families’ financial security, and boosts local economies. The success of Medicaid expansion across the country demonstrates the need for the 10 holdout states to finally expand their Medicaid programs to the 1.6 million people in the coverage gap who have no option for health coverage. 10 percent of rural Americans are uninsured and would benefit from the long awaited expansion. 

However, Republican elected leaders in 10 states refuse to implement Medicaid expansion, blocking 1.6 million from the access to essential health care and financial security Medicaid provides. These holdout states, located in the southern and midwest regions of the U.S. with significant rural populations, are leaving over $13 billion in federal Medicaid funding on the table. In addition to blocking Medicaid expansion in 10 states, MAGA-Republicans want to cut trillions from Medicaid by introducing onerous work reporting requirements and radically restructuring the program through block grants. Donald Trump has promised to follow through on his plan to repeal the ACA, which would end Medicaid expansion and throw the entire health care system into chaos, risking coverage for at least 45 million Americans and ending protections for Americans with preexisting conditions. On the other hand, President Biden and Democrats in Congress have worked to protect and strengthen Medicaid by creating multi-billion dollar incentives for Medicaid expansion, stopping onerous work requirements, pushing for expanded postpartum coverage, and working to minimize the impacts of Medicaid unwinding. 

By The Numbers

  • Millions Of Rural Americans Depend On Medicaid. Nearly 14 million Medicaid enrollees reside in rural areas.
  • Medicaid Strengthens Health In Rural America. Overall, rural residents have worse health outcomes and tend to be older, poorer, and sicker than those in urban areas.
  • Rural States Need Medicaid. Uninsurance rates in rural America are 2 to 3 percentage points higher than in urban areas. States that expanded Medicaid experienced a 7 point increase in insured rates after the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Medicaid Helps Keep Rural Hospitals Open. Since 2005, more than 150 rural hospitals have closed, including 20 closures in 2020 alone. Rural hospitals in Medicaid expansion states are 62 percent less likely to close. In 2024, over 400 rural hospitals are at risk of closing in the near future. When hospitals face financial hardship, obstetric services are among the first to be cut. Fewer than half of all rural counties in the United States had hospital-based obstetric care
  • Rural Hospitals Strengthen Local Economies. Hospitals employ ten percent of total county employment. Rural areas with hospital closures experience economic downturns with a 14 percent reduction in country employment. 418 rural hospitals are at risk of closing, and estimated that if those hospitals shut down, over 90,000 health care jobs in rural communities would be lost.

How Medicaid Expansion Helps Rural Americans

Medicaid Expansion Saves Lives. Medicaid expansion has been proven to increase access to care, improve financial security, and save lives. A study published in the Lancet found that Medicaid expansion reduced all-cause of mortality. Mortality rates in rural areas are much higher than in urban areas due to a disparity in health care access and increased prevalence of fatal diseases, suicide, and overdoses. 

Medicaid Expansion Reduces Income Inequality And Medical Debt. Medicaid expansion reduces poverty and income inequality across the board by helping low income families access care without jeopardizing income that they may use for other basic living expenses. A 2019 Health Affairs study found that Medicare, Medicaid, and premium subsidies account for one-third of poverty reduction in households without a disability recipient. Medicaid has also been shown to reduce the prevalence of medical debt with nearly 80 percent of the counties with the highest medical debt being from states that haven’t yet expanded Medicaid. 

Medicaid Expansion Plays A Central Role In Fighting The Opioid Crisis. Rural America largely lacks the ability to treat substance use disorders with 65 percent of rural counties lacking the ability to prescribe buprenorphine, an effective drug used to treat opioid dependency. Starting in 2020, Medicaid began covering all medications, therapies, and counseling services that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat opioid use disorders. Medicaid covers an estimated four in ten people with an opioid use disorder. Medicaid expansion in the remaining 10 states is a necessary foundation to help low-income, rural families dealing with higher rates of substance use disorders. 

Medicaid Expansion Is A Lifeline For Rural Hospitals

In states that haven’t expanded Medicaid, rural hospitals are drowning under financial pressure. Low occupancy rates, high levels of uncompensated care, competition with other hospitals, and struggling local economies create a financial burden that rural hospitals face all over the country. Since 2010, 138 rural hospitals have closed, including 20 closures in 2020 and 8 in 2023. In 2024, over 400 hospitals are at risk of closure.

Medicaid Helps Rural Hospitals Stay Open. Rural hospitals in Medicaid expansion states are 62 percent less likely to close. The two most common types of supplemental Medicaid payments are disproportionate share hospital payments, that pay hospitals for uncompensated care for Medicaid and uninsured patients, and upper limit payments, which supplement the gap between fee-for-service Medicaid base payments and the amount that Medicare covers. Some states are also testing the use of global hospital budgets to increase care and improve health outcomes in rural hospitals.

Closure Of Specialized Care And Obstetrical Services. Some hospitals opt to close specific services or facilities that cause patients in rural areas to have to travel further for specialized care. On average, when a rural hospital closes patients have to travel over 20 miles further to access inpatient or emergency care. A 2021 study found that fewer than half of all rural counties in the United States had hospital-based obstetric care. When hospitals face financial hardship, obstetric services are among the first to be cut. Black and Native American women in rural areas are particularly at risk. Black and Native American women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.

Medicaid Expansion Boosts State Budgets. Medicaid expansion generates enough savings that it is well worth the initial cost, eventually helping boost states budgets. Expansion allows states to access federally matched funds for some people covered by traditional Medicaid. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides states with additional funding from the federal government. From 2022 to 2025, the states that haven’t yet expanded Medicaid would gain $90 billion in federal matching funds in addition to $17.6 billion in ARP bonus payments and $6.6 billion from higher state and local tax revenue.

Rural Hospitals Are Large Employers In Their Communities. For rural areas that often have high unemployment rates, hospitals contribute significantly to local economies by employing large numbers of people with relatively high-paying jobs. Rural hospitals typically account for about 5 percent of a rural county’s total employment. Beyond just being a source of jobs, hospitals tend to pay higher wages than other rural industries. Hospital employees with an associate’s degree are paid an average of 21 percent higher than the rest of the population.

Rural Hospitals Boost Local Economies. Besides hospitals providing higher paying jobs in the health care sector, rural hospitals also stimulate the local economies of other industries. Hospitals purchase goods or services from local private businesses which helps stabilize and reinforces the local economy. In turn, strong private sector employment allows for more tax dollars for public goods, such as education and safety services.

Protect Our Care will continue to host events and activities throughout Medicaid Awareness Month, which includes the following themes each week:

  • Week 1: Republican threats to Medicaid. Week one will focus on how Republicans are actively seeking cuts to Medicaid while GOP leaders in 10 states continue to block Medicaid expansion. 
  • Week 2: Medicaid helps people of color and rural Americans. Week two will highlight how Medicaid is a critical tool to expand access to coverage, which together with policies that address other social and structural determinants of health, narrow stark disparities in health care, improve families’ financial security, and make people healthier. 
  • Week 3: Medicaid helps women and kids. Week three will bring attention to the vital role of Medicaid for mothers and children across the country.
  • Week 4: Medicaid helps seniors and people with disabilities. The final week will focus on how Medicaid helps seniors and people with disabilities access lifesaving care.