Washington, D.C. — Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, governors and state legislators in Florida, Texas, Tennessee, and Kansas have been acutely aware of the urgent need to expand Medicaid coverage or risk leaving their citizens in the coverage gap, losing state jobs, and hurting their states’ economies. The federal government has notified these states that it will no longer support their irresponsible inaction with low-income pool, or LIP, funding when these states could simply cover struggling, uninsured families through Medicaid expansion. Health care is a matter of life or death, but leaders in these four states are treating access to affordable care like a matter of political gamesmanship. More than 1.8 million Americans would gain coverage if all four states expanded Medicaid, which would improve their health status, reduce mortality rates, and grow the states’ economies.
“Medicaid expansion has enabled roughly 4.6 million newly eligible Americans to get affordable care in the 30 states that have chosen to do so,” said Scott Corlew, a physician in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and a member of Doctors for America. “Our state leaders have put their political leanings ahead of the health and financial well-being of Tennesseans. The debate over LIP funding is merely a distraction from the real issue at hand—our legislature refusing to enact Insure Tennessee, which would help our state financially and morally by increasing access to affordable health care.”
Medicaid expansion is and has always been a matter of common sense. By refusing to expand Medicaid, Tennessee is preventing 142,000 people from gaining coverage, costing the state $17.6 billion in economic activity and 21,900 new jobs and denying local hospitals $7.7 billion in reimbursements. Tennessee’s continued refusal to expand Medicaid and its grandiose objections to the much anticipated expiration of LIP funding is nothing more than political posturing at the expense of thousands of Tennesseans.
The Affordable Care Act is working—more than 20 million people now get health care because of the law. It is time that elected state officials stop playing games and let people get health coverage.
Click here to read “Myth Busting: Medicaid and Low-Income Pool Facts.”
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Benton Strong at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.481.8142.