Washington, D.C. – Today, Protect Our Care is kicking off week two of Medicaid Awareness Month. Medicaid provides high-quality care to 79 million Americans, but too many families remain locked out of this essential coverage because Republican officials in 12 states refuse to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. In total, more than two million Americans are stuck in the “coverage gap,” but Congress now has the opportunity to close this gap and extend affordable health care to millions.
“For years, Republicans have waged a partisan war on health care, and perhaps the most devastating outcome has been the refusal to expand Medicaid,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Millions of people have been left uninsured in states like Texas, Florida, and Georgia — all because Republicans are putting politics over people’s health and well-being. Working people, rural Americans, older adults, and people with disabilities are depending on Congress to fix this broken system and close the coverage gap now.”
Protect Our Care will continue to release fact sheets and host nationwide events with elected officials, storytellers, and health care advocates to highlight Medicaid’s critical role in America, discuss what needs to be done to expand and strengthen the program, and raise awareness of the consequences of Republican threats.
Medicaid Awareness Month 2022 themed weeks:
- Week 1: Medicaid is Working! Week one focused on how Medicaid has improved the lives of millions even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Week 2: Close the Coverage Gap. Week two is bringing attention to the urgent need to close the Medicaid coverage gap.
- Week 3: Stop the Threat. Week three will focus on how millions of Americans face losing their Medicaid coverage coverage when the COVID-19 public health emergency for the Covid-19 pandemic ends because Republican officials are failing to protect eligible Medicaid recipients.
- Week 4: Medicaid & Health Equity. The final week will highlight how Medicaid is our most powerful tool in fighting for health equity.
Closing the Medicaid coverage gap will provide millions of Americans living in non-expansion states access to quality, affordable health coverage. Closing the Medicaid coverage gap will reduce racial inequities in health care, strengthen families, and save lives.
2.2 Million Americans Currently Denied Medicaid Will Gain Health Coverage. There are more than two million Americans currently trapped in the Medicaid coverage gap to access zero dollar premium health coverage. Of those currently in the coverage gap, 62 percent are in the labor force, 30 percent are parents with children at home, more than 25 percent are essential workers, and 15 percent of adults have a disability.
Drastically Reducing Racial Health Disparities. Closing the Medicaid coverage gap is the single most important policy to expand coverage and reduce racial inequities in the American health care system. People of color are more likely to have a lower median income and live in a state without Medicaid expansion, compared with their white counterparts. In 2019, 60 percent of individuals in the coverage gap were people of color.