Tim Kaine urges states to expand Medicaid

tim kaine-newAhead of the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine, Sherrod Brown and 29 of their Senate colleagues are urging the 19 states that have not yet decided to expand Medicaid to do so in order to give more than four million additional Americans access to affordable, comprehensive health care.

“The 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid is a chance to celebrate one of the greatest public health accomplishments in our nation’s history,” Kaine said. “It’s also a time to encourage those states who haven’t expanded Medicaid, including Virginia, to take advantage of the opportunity to provide affordable health care to millions of additional Americans. It’s time we give the most vulnerable in our country – including hundreds of thousands in Virginia – the peace of mind affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage brings.”

“The creation of Medicare and Medicaid enhanced the lives of millions of Americans. And through the Affordable Care Act, we built on that public health achievement,” said Brown. “Unfortunately, four million Americans living in states that failed to expand their Medicaid program under the health law have yet to see its benefits. This is most true for low-income Americans and communities of color. It’s time for state legislatures and governors in these states to expand Medicaid so millions more Americans can realize the promise of health care coverage.”

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) put an end to insurance coverage denials for those with pre-existing conditions, halted unjustifiable premium rate hikes, and capped annual and lifetime insurance coverage limits. Because of the ACA, more than 16 million previously uninsured Americans now have health coverage – some for the first time in their lives. However, these gains in health insurance have not been uniform. This is chiefly due to the Supreme Court’s holding that states could not be compelled to expand their Medicaid programs and the ensuing willingness of some states not to expand Medicaid.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the rate of uninsured among residents eligible for Medicaid as expanded under the health law has dropped to 26.5 percent in states that have expanded their Medicaid program. The rate remains near 40 percent in the same population in non-expansion states. Failure of states to expand Medicaid disproportionately affects low-income individuals and communities of color. The uninsured rate remains about 1.5 times higher for African-Americans and more than three times higher for Latinos than for white Americans living in states that did not expand Medicaid. If every state that did not expand Medicaid chose to do so, the insurance gap between white and black Americans could be cut in half.

In 19 unique letters to governors and legislators in states without expanded Medicaid programs, Kaine and Brown, along with 29 of their Senate colleagues, cited the potential impact expanding Medicaid could have in their states and urged them to take action.

The letters were cosigned by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin, Richard Blumenthal, Barbara Boxer, Maria Cantwell, Ben Cardin, Bob Casey, Dick Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, Al Franken, Martin Heinrich, Heidi Heitkamp, Mazie Hirono, Amy Klobuchar, Patrick Leahy, Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley, Barbara Mikulski, Chris Murphy, Patty Murray, Gary Peters, Bernie Sanders, Brian Schatz, Chuck Schumer, Jeanne Shaheen, Debbie Stabenow, Tom Udall, Mark Warner, Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse.

uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.


Augusta Free Press content is available for free, as it has been since 2002, save for a disastrous one-month experiment at putting some content behind a pay wall back in 2009. (We won’t ever try that again. Almost killed us!) That said, it’s free to read, but it still costs us money to produce. The site is updated several times a day, every day, 365 days a year, 366 days on the leap year. (Stuff still happens on Christmas Day, is what we’re saying there.) AFP does well in drawing advertisers, but who couldn’t use an additional source of revenue? From time to time, readers ask us how they can support us, and we usually say, keep reading. Now we’re saying, you can drop us a few bucks, if you’re so inclined.


augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press news