Three Democratic Congressional nominees on Wednesday joined in a call for lawmakers to expand Medicaid in Alabama.
Phyliss Harvey-Hall, the Democratic nominee for Alabama’s 2nd District; Dr. Adia Winfrey, who’s running in Alabama’s 3rd District; and the state’s Democratic nominee for Alabama’s 4th District, Rick Neighbors, issued a joint statement asking state legislators to expand Medicaid.
“The accelerating spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a crisis that threatens the health and financial stability of all Alabamians. It’s time for our state lawmakers to take action. We can safeguard our hospitals, stimulate our local economies, and protect Alabama families with the capital made available through Medicaid expansion,” the statement reads.
“Every meaningful study demonstrates that the investment offered through Medicaid expansion will improve our state’s economy while providing hardworking Alabamians with more health coverage options. We cannot risk more hospital closures and we can no longer refuse this economic stimulus. Denying Medicaid expansion when it was initially offered was bad business then. Denying it now is dangerous.
“Blocking Medicaid expansion is neither pro-business or pro-family. Lawmakers who want what is best for Alabama’s families and economy must do what is right. We don’t have time to waste. Expand Medicaid now.”
Gov. Kay Ivey on April 14 said it would be financially irresponsible to expand Medicaid.
“Certainly we’re concerned about the health and welfare of all of our citizens, wherever they may live,” Ivey said at the time. “But at the same time, it would be irresponsible to think about expanding Medicaid just for the sake of expanding Medicaid without having a complete and honest discussion about the source of stable funding to pay the match.”
Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, told The Voice of Alabama Politics recently that the need to expand Medicaid is even more critical for the health of Alabamians during the COVID-19 crisis, and not doing it will cost the state billions.
“I think that this crisis has really shown a spotlight on the need to expand Medicaid in Alabama,” Jones said during the show, adding that between 325,000 and 377,000 Alabamians would receive good health benefits if Medicaid is expanded.
“And it would bring billions of dollars into this state,” Jones said.
Jones is working to include incentives in the next COVID-19 relief package that could provide 100 percent match for states such as Alabama, so that it would cost states nothing to expand Medicaid.
“We need to get that healthcare to folks across the state,” Jones said.