#MedicaidMadness campaign seeks to prioritize changing the healthcare landscape in eight Southern states

ATLANTA, Ga. (May 18, 2021) – This week, the Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) kicked off Medicaid Madness, a bold campaign to emphasize the need for new Medicaid Expansion policies in eight Southern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

Medicaid Expansion in these eight states will allow for affordable, quality, and equitable health care to some of the most vulnerable and underserved communities in the South. The push for expansions is heightened after the American Rescue Plan allocated nearly $15 billion in new incentives towards states expanding Medicaid programs.

“This campaign is a valuable tool not only for raising awareness about the critical need for Medicaid Expansion in marginalized Southern communities but also for amplifying the voices of the people who live in those communities,” said Stacey Abrams, SEAP Executive Director. “If these Southern states do not expand Medicaid this year, they are leaving significant funds on the table that their states desperately need to help working families and a broken public health system.”

The Medicaid Madness campaign features an interactive website for predicting Medicaid Expansion. SEAP invites visitors to explore the platform and fill out a bracket to vote on which state they believe will be the first to expand Medicaid.

The website also serves as a resource for connecting with local and state partners. Joining the SEAP in this effort are the following partners:

  • Southerners for Medicaid Expansion
  • Health Advocacy Project, a project of the NC Justice Center
  • Cover Georgia
  • Healthcare for Florida
  • Tennessee Justice Center

Each of these partners has been doing grassroots work on Medicaid Expansion for years at the state level, and the SEAP will continue to learn from and assist them in their efforts.

“For years, Tennessee’s leaders have rejected calls to accept billions of federal tax dollars while failing to come up with a better solution to help our rural hospitals stay open, provide health insurance to the 300,000 Tennesseans in the coverage gap, and create 15,000 healthcare jobs. Meanwhile, more hospitals have closed, and health disparities have widened. The natural experiment between states that have expanded and those that have not have shown overwhelming evidence that Medicaid expansion leads to better health and economic outcomes. We hope that the new incentive under ARPA will finally encourage our leaders to put people over politics and that Tennesseans won’t be left behind.” – Kinika Young, TJC Senior Director of Health Policy and Advocacy

“With a new opportunity to expand Medicaid from the American Rescue Plan, Southern states are hopeful to see our community members, families, and loved ones finally receive the chance to gain quality healthcare without fear of bankruptcy. For years, it’s felt like we’ve been banging our heads against the wall in what feels like Medicaid Madness for not expanding access to health care. Sometimes we need to laugh so that we don’t cry.” – Hyun Namkoong, Policy Advocate with the NC Justice Center

Mission statement
The charge of this campaign is to influence the expansion of Medicaid in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Influencing Medicaid Expansion in these eight states will allow for more affordable, quality, and equitable healthcare to some of the most vulnerable and underserved communities in the South.

SEAP’s ground game for the Medicaid Madness campaign will amplify voices, with the following goals:

  • Increase awareness on the vitalness of expanding Medicaid
  • Provide a platform that allows communities to express concerns
  • Amplify existing support in Southern states
  • About the Southern Economic Advancement Project

The Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) is your partner and resource. SEAP amplifies existing organizations and networks’ efforts to broaden economic power and build a more equitable future. Broadening economic power brings attention to how race, class, and gender intersect social and economic policy in the South. SEAP explores policy ideas designed to address these connections directly. SEAP focuses on 12 Southern states and marginalized/vulnerable populations within the region and is a fiscally sponsored project of the Roosevelt Institute.