RELEASE: Ten Republican-Led States Jeopardize Lives by Rejecting Full Medicaid Expansion

Press Releases

WASHINGTON — During Medicaid Awareness Month, it’s important to remember that there are still 10 states with Republican-led legislatures that refuse to fully expand Medicaid, leaving 1.5 million Americans uninsured and with worse health outcomes. Medicaid serves as a lifeline for millions of low-income and vulnerable Americans and reduces racial disparities in health care coverage. It plays a pivotal role in determining the accessibility, location, and timing of medical care, while also mitigating the financial burden of medical expenses.

Despite the Affordable Care Act offering states the opportunity to expand Medicaid, these 10 Republican-led states continue to resist fully expanding this critical program. Republicans in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are leaving billions of federal dollars on the table, continue to lose funding for rural hospitals, and represent a broader GOP willingness to risk the lives of their constituents.

Republicans’ longstanding refusal to fully expand Medicaid encapsulates the importance of state legislative power. When Republicans hold power, they deny health care access for thousands and sometimes millions of their constituents in need. When Democrats are in power, they prioritize Medicaid expansion and health care investments that save lives. 

Building Democratic power in the states is vital to ensuring essential health care is accessible and affordable. 

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

“Republicans in state legislatures have obstructed health care access by refusing to fully expand Medicaid for over a decade.  There’s no excuse for ten years of inaction when the results clearly show Medicaid reduces health care disparities and saves lives. The GOP is playing politics with people’s lives while leaving needed federal money on the table. That money could go to keeping rural hospitals open or better meeting the health care needs of the people in these states. Democrats in state legislatures understand these stakes, which is why they have worked to expand Medicaid and prioritize essential health care access. 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.