RALEIGH (June 24, 2021) – After years of inaction from state legislatures, advocacy organizations from the remaining non-expansion states have united to urge Congress to guarantee access to affordable healthcare for over 2 million Americans in the coverage gap.

“Without Medicaid expansion in the Senate budget, more than 600,000 North Carolinians are left wondering why state leadership continues to block their ability to see the doctor, get screened for cancer or treated for diabetes,” said Nicole Dozier, director of the Health Advocacy Project of the NC Justice Center. “We’re in the worst pandemic in modern history and yet the NC General Assembly continues to ignore and reject expansion despite additional federal incentives on the table to provide lifesaving care for our neighbors, friends, and families.”

Over 200 advocacy organizations from the 12 non-expansion states have signed a letter pleading Congress to bypass resistant state legislatures and provide coverage during the worst pandemic in modern history.

“State leaders continue to block the path forward for expansion despite its positive impacts, upholding deeply politicized tensions over the will of their constituents while exacerbating health inequities in our communities,” said Hyun Namkoong, policy advocate with the NC Justice Center.

Many people living in these states, especially people of color, are being denied the right, benefits, and dignity of healthcare coverage granted to people in 38 other states, a right that Congress fully intended when it expanded Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act.

Millions of people have been left uninsured and unprotected during a global pandemic, many of them essential workers. Expansion states have made the greatest progress in narrowing racial gaps in health outcomes. They see fewer maternal deaths for Black and Hispanic women. In rural communities, expansion has helped sustain struggling hospitals in areas that already experience sparse access to health care facilities.

Without any of the non-expansion states passing legislation to expand Medicaid, advocates in these states are looking to the federal government for solutions on how to extend health insurance coverage to people who need it the most.

Read the letter here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT Hyun Namkoong, (919) 218-4505, hyun@ncjustice.org