Alabama Voices: Expanding Medicaid would improve Alabama’s health, budgets and economy

Imagine being an Alabama leader and having a tool at your disposal that could help families, strengthen the workforce, save rural hospitals, fight opioid addiction, improve the state’s health status and grow the economy.

The only catch: It was created by members of another political party. That’s the dilemma that has kept Alabama from expanding Medicaid for the last eight years.

We’re a different country now than we were in 2010, when a Democratic Congress passed and President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), making Medicaid expansion possible. With so much water under the bridge – and the ACA still standing – maybe it’s time to seize one of the law’s more durable provisions and take credit for the good it brings.

Trump officials say no to lifetime limits on Medicaid

On Monday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rejected a proposal from Kansas to place a three-year lifetime cap on some adult Medicaid enrollees. Since Medicaid began in 1965, no state has restricted how long beneficiaries could remain in the entitlement program.

"We seek to create a pathway out of poverty, but we also understand that people's circumstances change, and we must ensure that our programs are sustainable and available to them when they need and qualify for them," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said Monday at an American Hospital Association meeting in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Bentley says Alabama will restore Medicaid payment boost for primary care doctors

"Alabama is restoring enhanced payments for primary care doctors who treat Medicaid patients.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced Thursday that the state will restore the enhanced payments that were cut because of budget troubles. The "primary care bump" put some Medicaid primary care reimbursement rates on par with Medicare rates."


Concerned Citizens to Converge on Montgomery for Medicaid Hearing

"Groups have announced they will hold a news conference before the hearing at 2 p.m. in Room 316 in the State House to highlight real-world stories of Medicaid’s importance to the most vulnerable Alabamians.

“Medicaid coverage is essential to protect the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of children in Alabama,” Alabama Children First executive director Christy Cain said in a press release. “Cutting Medicaid is no way to build a brighter future for our children or our state.”

Alabama Arise state coordinator Kimble Forrister said the state’s Medicaid debate isn’t about numbers on a spreadsheet.

“It’s about people,” he said. “Medicaid cuts would reduce health care access and make life harder for many of the most vulnerable Alabamians: children, seniors, and people with disabilities. Their voices must be heard in this debate.”

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Residents: Medicaid Access in Alabama Needs to be Preserved

"A shortfall of $85 million to support Medicaid in Alabama next year could leave hundreds of thousands of residents – primarily seniors, people with disabilities and kids – without access to health care, and grassroots advocates are taking steps to make sure state lawmakers are aware of how cuts would affect people. 

Advocates with Alabama Arise and Alabama Children First have launched the #IamMedicaid campaign online and on social media to draw attention to the faces and voices of the estimated 1 million state residents covered by Medicaid. Half of those 1 million residents are kids, advocates said, who also estimate that hundreds of thousands of residents would be hurt by cuts."

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Social media campaign started to advocate state Medicaid support

"Advocacy groups for children and the poor started a social media campaign Tuesday to raise public opposition to pending cuts to the state’s Medicaid program.

The goal of the #IamMedicaid campaign, launched by nonprofits Alabama Arise and Alabama Children First, is to give a voice to people whom the cuts would affect. Representatives from the nonprofits say they hope the campaign will raise enough support to sway the Alabama Legislature to reconsider the recently passed 2017 budget and fully fund Medicaid."

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Hearings On Medicaid Warn About Potential Cuts

"This upcoming budget is $85 million short of what the agency says it needs to avoid cuts. About 1 million Alabamians are covered by Medicaid, that’s about 20 percent of the state’s population. And some people on Medicaid came to the state house to warn lawmakers about potential cuts, trying to put a face behind all the numbers we’ve been reporting. They say this doesn’t only affect people on Medicaid, but also people with private insurance because physicians may leave the state."

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#IamMedicaid Press Release 4/20/16

NEWS RELEASE                                                     4/20/16 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, contact:

Christy Cain at (334) 396-6314 |

Jim Carnes at (334) 832-9060 |

#IamMedicaid campaign seeks to show human faces of Alabama’s Medicaid debate

Alabama’s looming Medicaid cuts would harm hundreds of thousands of people across the state – mostly children, seniors, and people with disabilities. The new #IamMedicaid campaign is a grassroots effort to remind lawmakers and the public of the real people with real lives affected by the state’s ongoing Medicaid funding debate.

“Alabama’s Medicaid debate is about more than numbers on a spreadsheet. It’s about people,” Alabama Arise state coordinator Kimble Forrister said. “Medicaid cuts would reduce health care access and make life harder for many of the most vulnerable Alabamians: children, seniors, and people with disabilities. Their voices must be heard in this debate, and we’re excited about this new effort to change the conversation around Medicaid.”

The 2017 General Fund budget leaves Medicaid $85 million short of the funding that the agency says is needed to avoid cuts to services like outpatient dialysis and adult eyeglasses. Without new revenue to maintain current service levels, Medicaid also will make deep cuts in its payments to doctors and other providers. Those cuts could result in the closures of many hospitals and clinics, reducing health care access for families across the state.

“Medicaid coverage is essential to protect the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of children in Alabama,” Alabama Children First executive director Christy Cain said. “So many times, we get caught up in the numbers, and we forget those numbers represent real people with real lives and that they deal with real challenges.”

Details about the #IamMedicaid campaign, along with personal stories and pictures, are available at, as well as on the initiative’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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Alabama Arise is a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of 150 congregations and organizations dedicated to improving the lives of low-income Alabamians. Alabama Children First is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the lives of Alabama’s children and families by shaping public policy.

Implore our legislature to stop cuts to Alabama Medicaid

"Above all, our choices in funding government represent our best aspirations for future generations.  Help us to create a future where our actions stimulate the economy and provide mechanisms of support for those most in need.  As a citizen who deeply cares about our legacy of goodwill, the care of those most in need, and our long-term tax intake, I urge you to write your representatives and governor to oppose any cuts to Medicaid."

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We can't call ourselves Christian if we cut Medicaid

'Many people who have other forms of insurance like to think they don't need Medicaid... or that it somehow won't affect them should the Medicaid program go underfunded. However, as a rural family physician who delivers babies, works in a rural hospital, and works in a nursing home, all of which stay open and available to serve all individuals (even those with Blue Cross Blue Shield) because of the money from the state's Medicaid program, I can easily see the impending doom coming should our state choose to turn its back on Medicaid... and on those in our state who are "the least of these."'

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