RALEIGH (July 13, 2021) – On Wednesday, July 14th at 11 a.m. ET, Congressman James Clyburn, Congresswoman Val Demings, and Congressman Lloyd Doggett will join advocates uniting across the eight Southern non-expansion states to demand Congressional leadership include a federal coverage gap fix in the budget reconciliation package.
This digital press event, America’s Coverage Gap Crisis, follows growing momentum for federal action to close the coverage gap, including bills recently introduced by Senator Raphael Warnock and Congressman Doggett, advocacy from leading civil rights organizations and the Southerners for Medicaid Expansion Coalition, a joint letter from Georgia Senators Warnock and Jon Ossoff, and a tri-caucus letter to Congressional leadership.
In addition to key members of Congress representing non-expansion states, the event will feature speakers including faith leaders, small business owners, rural health advocates, and people currently suffering without quality health care in the Medicaid coverage gap.
Each will speak to the urgent need in their communities for a coverage gap solution, followed by Q&A with reporters.
WHAT: Press event featuring Congressman James Clyburn, Congresswoman Val Demings, and Congressman Lloyd Doggett, hosted by the Southerners for Medicaid Expansion
WHEN: Wednesday, July 14th at 11am ET
WHERE: Webinar Registration – Zoom
For the last decade, more than 2 million uninsured adults across these eight Southern states have suffered in the coverage gap without any real access to affordable healthcare. These individuals—the majority of whom are people of color—are retail clerks and caretakers, home health aides, and other essential workers. They are being denied a basic dignity available to their counterparts in 38 other states.
America cannot allow this central inequity to persist—one that continues to punish Americans of color with low incomes, particularly in regions with long histories of racial violence.
Despite tremendous federal incentives offered in the American Rescue Plan and broad support from voters, state leaders continue to block affordable health care to millions of Americans. Speakers are using this critical window to call on Congressional leaders to prioritize a federal fallback fix for the coverage gap in the upcoming budget reconciliation package. Without one, 2 million Americans could be left waiting another decade or more for basic, life-saving care.
Thousands of Americans in the coverage gap have already died preventable deaths while waiting for health care in just the past few years. The speakers’ message is simple: failure is not an option.
The Southerners for Medicaid Expansion coalition fights for quality, affordable healthcare and against the legacies of slavery and racial injustice that have plagued our region. With only 12 states left to expand, Southerners from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas united to close the coverage gap. The South boasts the nation’s highest uninsured rates, overwhelming rates of poverty, chronic health conditions, and racial health inequities.
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