Legislation permanently closes the Medicaid coverage gap in 12 remaining states, which would grant health coverage to over 800,000 women of reproductive age
WASHINGTON — This week, House Committees advanced critical budget reconciliation legislation that protects and expands access to sexual and reproductive health care. These include plans to permanently close the Medicaid coverage gap; strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA); invest in maternal health; and provide additional investments in public health.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“With the ongoing pandemic and attacks on reproductive health care and rights across the country, we cannot build back better without robust investments in sexual and reproductive health care and our public health infrastructure. The bills coming out of the House Committees close the Medicaid coverage gap; strengthen the Affordable Care Act; invest in maternal health; and take critical steps towards combating health inequities and protecting reproductive freedom. It would mean access to essential reproductive health care for more than 800,000 women of reproductive age across 12 states, and would also address the disproportionate maternal mortality rate affecting Black and Indigenous women. We look forward to the House and Senate passing budget reconciliation bills that put access to affordable health care at the forefront.”
For over a decade, the ACA incentivized states to expand the Medicaid program to more people with low incomes. Twelve states have refused to take action, despite the prospect of millions of people gaining affordable health insurance. This includes more than 800,000 women of reproductive age. Medicaid is the largest payer of reproductive health care in the nation, covering 75% of all public funds spent on family planning services, making Medicaid expansion critical to increasing access to sexual and reproductive health care and addressing ongoing health inequities. The bills from the Ways and Means Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee both take steps to close the harmful Medicaid coverage gap and finally provide coverage to those who need it.
The legislation coming out of the Energy and Commerce Committeealso makes historic investments to address the alarming maternal health crisis. It requires a mandatory expansion of postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months, with full benefits, and includes much needed investments from the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act.
Other House Committees have advanced their own parts of the reconciliation package that include core priorities of the We Demand More coalition, of which Planned Parenthood is a founding member. This includes federal paid and medical leave through the Ways and Means Committee and a pathway to citizenship through the House Judiciary Committee.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.