As the COVID-19 crisis continues, more Americans are relying on Medicaid for access to affordable, high-quality health care. Even by conservative estimates, Medicaid enrollment has increased by more than 2.3 million people – 3% nationwide. At the same time, state revenues have dropped dramatically, and, in total, state budget shortfalls are projected to reach $555 billion through 2022.
To address these budget shortfalls, governors and state legislatures across the country are considering drastic state-level cuts to Medicaid that will impact millions of Americans who depend on the program, including women, children, people with disabilities, Americans 65+, and hardworking adults newly enrolled due to job loss. A significant portion of these adults in particular are able to enroll in the program as a result of Medicaid expansion, and represent some of the hardest hit community members like frontline workers and those with higher rates of substance use disorders and behavioral health concerns, many of whom are racial and ethnic minorities.
State and health care leaders agree that there is one essential action Congress must take to protect these Americans: increase Medicaid funding through the pending COVID-19 relief package by enhancing states’ Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP).
Continued Congressional inaction to increase Medicaid funding could lead to devastating consequences for America’s most at-risk populations.
Together, we can and will overcome the COVID-19 crisis. Let’s ensure Medicaid continues to deliver for more than 73 million American women, children, veterans, people with disabilities, older Americans, and workers by enhancing Medicaid’s FMAP to address the crisis.