MONTGOMERY, AL – March 7, 2023 – Tonight, Gov. Ivey addressed a room of fellow elected officials laying out a slew of issues affecting Alabamians and detailing her administration’s commitment to addressing them in the upcoming 2023 legislative session.
A lack of affordable, accessible care was notably left out of the conversation despite the threat of mass closures of rural hospitals across the state and looming growth of the coverage gap when the federal public health emergency and Medicaid continuous coverage end. An estimated 61,000 of those Alabamians disenrolled from Medicaid coverage will become uninsured, compounding the existing access to care gap that has blocked approximately 220,000 residents from affordable health care coverage.
“We’re disappointed to see Gov. Ivey fail to address the dire state of affordable care in our state – or a lack thereof – and its growing impact on Alabama families, hospitals and local economies, especially in our rural areas. Medicaid expansion has not only been necessary for quite some time, but it is as critical as ever for low-income families and our veterans, a majority of whom are uninsured.”
“Gov. Ivey’s nod toward the need for a legislative special session to allocate funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act further emphasizes the benefits of expanding Medicaid. Under ARPA, the federal government has promised to provide billions of dollars in federal Medicaid funds as an incentive for states to increase eligibility. If Alabama chose to finally expand Medicaid, that would bring $2 billion in extra federal funds to the state,” noted Jane Adams, Alabama Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).
According to an ACS CAN poll in 2022 on the issue, most voters across party lines agree (81%) the government should protect people so they don’t lose their health insurance during this time of high inflation. ACS CAN is advocating for the legislature and Gov. Ivey to take up measures to increase eligibility to Medicaid and provide residents with the health care they need to thrive.