Editor: The fact is that more than 2 million uninsured adults are in the Medicaid coverage gap — too poor to qualify for Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace assistance but ineligible for Medicaid because their state hasn’t adopted the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. We have seen firsthand in Colorado the difference that can be made by addressing this gap.
Colorado’s decision to expand Medicaid in 2013 means more people have been able to access affordable health insurance when they need it most. In 2019 alone, more than 300,000 Coloradans were covered because of the expansion. This is especially important for those who struggle most with ongoing health disparities.
Women of color have disproportionately higher rates of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and certain forms of cancer, and also have increased mortality rates for certain forms of cancer and a higher rate of maternal mortality. Black women are also as much as 4x more likely to die in childbirth.
We have made huge strides in improving health outcomes in recent years through progress the expanded coverage under Medicaid, the more than 900,000 young Latinx people who are now covered by a parents’ plan, and the protection of the essential health benefits. We need to build on this progress by ensuring Medicaid is expanded throughout the country. This would help continue to reduce racial health disparities, and improve health care access, health outcomes, and financial security. Join me in urging Congress to act now and pass the “Medicaid Saves Lives Act.”
— Katherine Riley, via [email protected]