WASHINGTON—The National Health Law Program’s (NHeLP) Elizabeth G. Taylor, Executive Director, and Mara Youdelman, Managing Attorney of the Washington, DC office, issued the following statement responding to President Obama’s budget proposal to expand Medicaid in “More than Halfway There: New Opportunities to Expand Medicaid and Level the Playing Field.”
“NHeLP is grateful for President Obama’s commitment to ensure that quality, affordable health care reaches all low income and diverse communities. The proposal for an extra incentive to states that have not yet expanded their Medicaid programs is sound and could make a difference to millions of low-income Americans,” said Elizabeth G. Taylor, Executive Director of NHeLP. “The Affordable Care Act was a landmark achievement that has extended affordable health coverage to millions of Americans, but work remains to ensure the law’s benefits reach everyone it was intended to. Many of the individuals who will benefit from the President’s proposal have very low incomes and endure significant health disparities. We encourage our law makers to pass the budget with the President’s incentive.”
The proposed extra incentive to states that have not yet expanded their Medicaid programs in the FY 2017 Budget would provide any state that initiates Medicaid expansion the same three years of 100% Federal support that those states that expanded in 2014 received, no matter when the state takes up the option.
“The expansion of Medicaid programs in 31 states and the District of Columbia by the end of 2015, as well as actions by several state governors already in 2016 to accomplish the same, are examples of the promising progress toward this goal,” said Mara Youdelman, Managing Attorney, NHeLP DC. “Medicaid expansion is a critical benefit leading to not only healthier communities, but also healthier state economies and increased employment. NHeLP looks forward to supporting President Obama’s effort to achieve Medicaid expansion in all states and we call on Congress to quickly act on the President’s proposal.”