Call Your Senators
Don’t fail to act this time! The Senate is trying to work fast to pass a bill before the public knows what’s in it. This bill cuts Medicaid by hundreds of billions of dollars. That’s the program which provides healthcare coverage for 69 million people in America.
What senators hear now and in coming days will determine whether they pass their bill which would destroy the system that makes it possible for American’s most needy to have access to healthcare. The 23 million people that will be hit hard by this bill are seniors, children, veterans, people with disabilities, and people suffering from substance abuse and mental health conditions.
The Senate leadership plans to bring this vote without any hearings and very little notice. It would have a terrible impact on millions of lives and our economy. It is important that you speak against this bill right now.
Don’t be fooled by the Senate’s bill. The effects will be horrible. It will still end the guarantee of Medicaid. It will be 80% of what passed the House. The House bill cuts Medicaid by $850 million over ten years and leaves 23 million Americans without coverage.
Some senators may be hoping you’re not aware of these details, but the details of America’s healthcare policies mean life and death for many Americans. We aren’t talking about saving bills, or budgets; we are talking about the lives of men, women, and children, many of whom are your neighbors, friends, or family members, and one day could be you.
In Alabama, 875 million people are enrolled in Medicaid. The cuts in the Senate bill would leave the poorest of our population without healthcare choices.
The Alabama state budget would be hit hard. Alabama gets $3.8 billion from the Federal government for Medicaid. Over time, Federal funding would be cut and the state would be responsible for the difference in cost and funding. This would force the state to cut services, eligibility, or provider payments, potentially leaving thousands without healthcare.
Fifty percent of the Medicaid program goes to help children. One of every two children in the state is enrolled in Medicaid. Children enrolled are more likely to be better in school, miss less days, finish high school, go on to college, and earn more as adults. When we are talking about Medicaid, we are talking about the future of many of Alabama’s children.
In Alabama, the opioid death rate is 6.1 per 100,000. The state’s Medicaid program provides all three drugs used in the treatment of addiction. Cutting the program would hinder the state’s ability to cope with the problem and raise the death rate. In addition, the Senate bill would cause approximately 11,200 jobs lost in the health sector.
People of color will suffer more if the bill passes. They have worse healthcare access and outcomes than do whites. Over half of the non-elderly uninsured are people of color, and the black infant death rate is 2.4 times higher than whites. Medicaid cuts would only increase the gaps.
Rural communities will be hit hard by the bill. Approximately 1.7 million people live in rural areas, and 24% of them are enrolled in Medicaid. They have larger Medicaid populations because more people with disabilities live there, household incomes are lower and unemployment rates are higher.
Any proposal to reduce or cap Medicaid funding would have a terrible impact on women’s health. In Alabama, 61% of the enrollees are women. Cuts would limit access to maternity care, family planning, and other healthcare services such as Pap smears, sexually transmitted disease testing, and counseling for HIV and domestic violence. In our state, 65,000 women and girls are living in poverty. They cannot afford to lose Medicaid coverage.
Due to Medicaid expansion, 11 million low income Americans now have quality healthcare coverage. Don’t let them lose it! Call your senators today and ask them to vote against this bill.