WISCONSIN — Today, Protect Our Care is kicking off the final week of Medicaid Awareness Month, which examines the critical role Medicaid has played in reducing disparities in health coverage and improving overall health outcomes for vulnerable communities. Research confirms that Medicaid expansion saves lives and drastically reduces racial health disparities. States that expanded their Medicaid programs saw a 51 percent reduction in the gap between uninsured white and Black adults after expansion, and a 45 percent reduction between white and Hispanic adults. Medicaid expansion is the single most important step Congress can take to reduce harmful inequities in our health care system, particularly for communities of color.
“Medicaid has played a vital role in improving equity in health insurance coverage and access to care. The program has increased coverage rates, reduced poverty and inequality, and boosted financial security for communities of color,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Democrats have worked hard to strengthen the program, which has resulted in record enrollment at a time it was needed most. President Biden and his allies in Congress are working hard to protect Medicaid for generations to come. Their success in the face of Republican sabotage speaks to the program’s success— Medicaid is stronger than ever.”
Throughout the month, Protect Our Care released fact sheets and hosted nationwide events with elected officials, storytellers, and health care advocates to highlight Medicaid’s critical role in America, discuss what needs to be done to expand and strengthen the program, and raise awareness of the consequences of Republican threats.
Medicaid Awareness Month 2022 theme weeks:
- Week 1: Medicaid is Working! Week one focused on how Medicaid has improved the lives of millions even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Week 2: Close the Coverage Gap. Week two is bringing attention to the urgent need to close the Medicaid coverage gap.
- Week 3: Protect Medicaid Coverage. Week three will focus on how millions of Americans face losing their Medicaid coverage coverage when the COVID-19 public health emergency ends and how Republican officials across the country are waging a relentless war on Medicaid.
- Week 4: Medicaid & Health Equity. The final week will highlight how Medicaid is our most powerful tool in fighting for health equity.
Generations of structural racism have resulted in people of color experiencing lower rates of coverage, worst health outcomes, and staggering health inequities. As a result, Medicaid coverage remains a critical source of coverage, especially for Black, Hispanic, and Latino Americans who experience poverty at a higher rate than white Americans and remain less likely to have access to quality care. These groups also face higher rates of chronic conditions that make access to affordable health coverage even more essential.