WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons (both D-Del.) joined 25 colleagues in introducing an amendment to secure health coverage for 11 million Americans who receive it through Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Thirty-one states—most with Republican governors—and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid to cover individuals up to 138% of the federal poverty level ($11,880 individual income; $20,160 for family of three) and, for the first time, extended eligibility to 11 million low-income adults. States that have expanded Medicaid stand to see 11 million people lose their coverage.
The amendment would establish a budget point of order to prevent any legislation that increases the overall number of uninsured, decreases enrollment in Medicaid in expansion states, or leads to any increase in state spending on Medicaid.
“Medicaid is one of our country’s most critical safety-net programs that millions of our most vulnerable Americans rely on each day for quality health care,” said Senator Carper. “Through the state Medicaid expansion funding in the Affordable Care Act, over 11 million Americans gained access to health care, many for the first time in their life. This amendment will safeguard their health coverage and ensure that any action taken by Congress to reform our health care system does not increase the number of uninsured under Medicaid and create an unfair burden on our states. We must uphold our moral obligation to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities, and make every attempt to provide badly needed peace of mind to the millions of Americans who are concerned about the future of their health care today.”
“I'm proud to join with Senator Carper to protect the health care of Americans who were finally able to sign up for insurance because their state expanded Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act,” said Senator Coons. “These Americans shouldn’t have to worry about losing their health coverage at any second, so I urge my colleagues to do what's right and support our efforts to protect the health care of millions.”
In Delaware, repealing Medicaid expansion would result in more than 11,000 people losing their coverage. The financial impact to Delaware would be $2.7 billion in lost federal Medicaid funding over the next ten years. The state’s uninsured rate dropped has dropped to an historic low of 5.9% as a result of the ACA, which included Medicaid expansion.
The amendment is co-sponsored by Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn, Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Jean Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.).
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia have expanded Medicaid through ACA.