America Can’t Recover if the South Isn’t Covered

HAVING LIFE-SAVING COVERAGE SHOULDN’T DEPEND ON THE STATE THAT YOU LIVE IN.

The Southerners for Medicaid Expansion continues to urge federal leaders to take immediate action to expand healthcare coverage to nearly seven million people across the South.

The following statement released on July 28, 2022 comes in response to news that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 does not include a provision to close the Medicaid coverage gap. As a follow-up to this statement, on August 3, 2022 the Southerners for Medicaid Expansion shared this letter to Senate Democrats urging them to Senator Revered Warnock's anticipated Coverage Gap Amendment to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

“Today marks five years to the date that Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) thumbs down helped save the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion for millions of Americans and thousands of people in West Virginia. On this happy anniversary, Senate Democrats have put forward a reconciliation package that fails to close the Medicaid coverage gap and fulfill the promise of the law they worked so hard to pass and defend. 

While we applaud the announced agreement to extend the enhanced premium tax credits that bring down the costs of health insurance for millions of families, this package does nothing for those stuck in the coverage gap without enough income to qualify for these credits. If the reconciliation package is passed without a fix for the coverage gap, 2.2 million people–primarily Black and brown Americans who live in the South–will be left behind with nothing.

The proposed deal would abandon our communities at a time when growing abortion restrictions make access to comprehensive health care even more urgent. It would leave low-wage workers who currently shoulder the highest health care costs and heaviest health consequences with no help whatsoever. 

Our friends, neighbors and loved ones have been without health care for years and some have died of preventable causes because of callous inaction by our states' leaders to expand Medicaid. We strongly urge Senate Democrats and the Biden administration to add a provision that closes the Medicaid coverage gap to this package. 

Failure to act now would be a shameful abandonment of the promise of the Affordable Care Act, leaving the poorest Americans to face an indefinite future without health care.”

Read our past Letters
  • February 12, 2021
    • Urging Congress to take immediate action to expand healthcare coverage. Southern states are battling COVID-19 on sinking ground.
  • June 24, 2021
    • Urging Congress to pursue a direct coverage option for low-income individuals in non-expansion states in the forthcoming recovery legislation.
  • September 10, 2021
    • Urging Congress to ensure the Build Back Better reconciliation bill includes a coverage gap policy solution that is comprehensive and permanent.
  • September 17, 2021
    • Urging Democratic Senators to prioritize the permanent and comprehensive Medicaid “coverage gap” policy outlined in the House Energy and Commerce Committee reconciliation bill.
  • October 19, 2021
    • Urging Congress to secure progressive investments in Build Back Better legislation to close the federal Medicaid coverage gap.
  • December 21, 2021
    • Urging Congress to work to ensure any final BBB package includes the federal coverage gap fix.
  • May 18, 2022
    • Urging Majority Leader Schumer to close the Medicaid coverage gap as a necessary step for economic and racial justice.
  • May 19, 2022
    • Urging Speaker Pelosi to ensure moves a fix to the Medicaid coverage together with an extension of enhanced APTCs.
  • July 11, 2022
    • Statement: In the wake of the Dobbs decision, the need to close the Medicaid coverage gap is greater than ever.
  • July 12, 2022
    • Letter: In the wake of the Dobbs decision, Congress must take immediate action to ensure all women and birthing people across this country have at minimum access to basic health care.
  • July 28, 2022
    • Statement: Responding to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which does not include a provision to close the Medicaid coverage gap.
  • August 3, 2022
    • Letter: VOTE YES on Warnock Coverage Gap Amendment to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
Take Action

Contact Your Officials

Our communities have suffered far too long in the coverage gap. They are parents and youth, cooks and teachers, caretakers and essential workers. For too many, this is a matter of life and death. The White House included a coverage gap fix through 2025 in the Build Back Better framework - now we need to raise our voices to ensure the coverage gap fix becomes law. Contact your member of Congress now!

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