This Father’s Day, we reflect on the critical role fathers and grandfathers have in shaping the lives of children and contributing to the economic security of our families. We celebrate the important gains the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided in closing the coverage gap for parents. The landmark health care law allowed states to adopt Medicaid Expansion to provide coverage for low income nonelderly, nondisabled adults with incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).
The so-called American Health Care Act (AHCA), passed by House Republicans in May, and pending in the Senate, would repeal ACA’s expansion of Medicaid for fathers and other adults and cut Medicaid spending by $834 billion over ten years. AHCA would therefore gut Medicaid coverage for low income fathers and jeopardizes the economic security of families.
Under the Affordable Care Act:
- 31 states adopted Medicaid Expansion and many low income fathers up to 138 percent FPL enrolled in Medicaid for the first time. Before the ACA, the median state Medicaid income cap for working parents was 61 percent FPL.
- The uninsurance rate of parents dropped from 17.6 to 11.8 percent.
- Parents receiving health insurance served as a “welcome mat” to increase coverage for children.
- Parents enrolling in Medicaid improved the well-being of children, as uninsured parents have difficulty accessing needed care, potentially compromising their ability to work, support their families and care for their children.
- ACA increased access to affordable care, including primary and preventive care. This protection benefits the 31 percent of men below 200 percent FPL who have put off or postponed preventive services due to cost.
- Medicaid Expansion, coupled with ACA’s affordability protections, leaves more money in each enrolled family’s wallet to pay for other basic needs, like food and shelter.
So as we celebrate our fathers and grandfathers this Sunday, let us fight to ensure they do not lose access to comprehensive, affordable health insurance so they will be able to maintain their health. For a deeper dive, see our publication “Threats to The Health of Ohio Fathers Under ACA Repeal.”
Call your senators and urge them to vote against AHCA.