GOP-Led States Put Black Lives in Danger by Refusing to Fully Expand Medicaid

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RELEASE: GOP-Led States Put Black Lives in Danger by Refusing to Fully Expand Medicaid

This Black History Month, it’s important to remember that Republicans’ refusal to expand Medicaid has a dire impact on Black communities

WASHINGTON — There’s a troubling, sickening pattern among Republican-controlled states that have refused to fully expand Medicaid: Black residents face dramatically worse health outcomes. 

Medicaid provides health care to millions of low-income and vulnerable Americans, and concrete evidence shows it also reduces racial disparities in health coverage. Medicaid makes a huge difference in whether, where, and when people get medical care – not to mention making medical bills more affordable. 

The Affordable Care Act allowed states to expand Medicaid back in 2014 – which should’ve been a no-brainer. But a decade later, 10 states with Republican-led legislatures still refuse to fully expand this critical program, leaving millions of Black people without health care coverage and billions of federal dollars on the table. 

If all states expanded Medicaid, more than one-quarter of the adults who would be newly eligible would be people of color. Republicans’ resistance to expanding Medicaid is particularly impacting poor, uninsured African-American adults who are most likely to live in the Southern states, where GOP leadership has refused to take the necessary steps to get more people health coverage. 

The bottom line: Medicaid expansion puts on stark display the impacts of state legislatures. When Republicans are in control, they refuse to expand access to health care for low-income Black residents. When Democrats are in control, they expand Medicaid and invest in health care, reducing racial disparities. Building Democratic power in the states is essential to putting life-saving care within reach for Black communities.

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Communications Director Abhi Rahman issued the following statement:

“Medicaid expansion is a no-brainer, yet Republicans in state legislatures across the country have held health care hostage from their residents for 10 years, with disproportionate and deadly consequences for Black residents. Every day that Medicaid expansion is denied, lives are on the line, and federal money is left on the table. That’s why Democrats across the country have expanded Medicaid, helping millions of Black patients access the care they need. Republicans’ refusal to expand Medicaid marks yet another example of the stark contrast between Republican and Democratic leadership. The DLCC will continue to highlight the deadly consequences of Republicans’ decade-long obstruction of Medicaid expansion as we work to build Democratic power in the states.”

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures and building state infrastructure. Over the last decade, we have fought cycle-over-cycle to gain a dozen new legislative chamber majorities and we are leading the effort to bring national attention and investment to our ballot level. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and have the closest connections to Americans’ day-to-day lives. From protecting fundamental freedoms and voting rights to growing the middle class, the DLCC and state legislators are moving the Democratic agenda forward and shaping the future of this country.