Statement from the Southerners for Medicaid Expansion coalition on announcement of inclusion of a fix to the Medicaid coverage gap in President Biden’s Build Back Better framework:
“For over 50 years, our nation has fought to make access to health coverage a right for all Americans. Closing the Medicaid gap through 2025 takes a transformative step towards this vision and helps fulfill the promise of the Affordable Care Act. It ensures that every American, regardless of who they are, where they live, or where they work, can get basic, life-saving health coverage.
While work remains, closing the Medicaid gap is the single most important step Congress could take to tackle structural racism in our healthcare system. It is no accident that 60 percent of the two million Americans in the coverage gap are people of color, and most live in the South. Taking this simple step will help Americans access preventive care, mental health services, and cancer treatment. It will reduce our nation’s tragic maternal mortality rate, shore up struggling rural hospitals, and ensure our children, families, and communities can thrive.
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. Congress must pass the Build Back Better Act without delay.
We praise President Biden and our champions in Congress for their leadership, and we stand ready to fight for the bill’s passage and take our work into our communities next year to connect hundreds of thousands of people to health insurance. As we look toward the future, we will keep fighting until our leaders ensure permanent, reliable, and affordable health care coverage for our communities.”