Who's Left Out of Affordable Coverage?

Millions of hard-working families across the United States are left out of affordable coverage because their state lawmakers refuse to expand access to health care.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states are provided billions in federal funding to expand Medicaid eligibility to millions of Americans. However, despite tremendous support from hospitals, businesses, and constituents, lawmakers in twenty-five states across the country have refused to expand access to care.

Their reasons are strictly political, and the inaction of these lawmakers has created the “Medicaid coverage gap,” where 6-7 million uninsured individuals fall into without any access to care. They do not qualify for Medicaid as-is but also do not make enough to purchase private insurance. These low-wage workers left uninsured represent crucial industries to the economy and to our everyday lives. Your childcare provider, your local hairdresser, the server at your favorite restaurant—these are the people who are left out of affordable coverage.

When these individuals are healthy, their kids are more likely to be healthy, they are more likely to be financially secure, require less sick-days, and emergency rooms no longer become a source of primary care, decreasing health care costs for everyone. Medicaid expansion stands to do all this and create thousands of jobs across the country. This is a good deal for our states; yet far too many lawmakers are leaving billions of dollars on the table because of petty politics.

The time for action is now. After January 1st 2014, states that have not expanded Medicaid begin losing millions of dollars each day they do not act. Stand up for those left out of affordable coverage. Call your legislator and tell them the time for Medicaid expansion is now.

Written by Ida Eskamani, Florida CHAIN. Cross-posted from MomsRising.org.