WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Taifa Smith Butler, President of Dēmos, the think tank for the racial justice movement, issued the following statement on the expiration of a pandemic-era protection that prevented states from dropping people from Medicaid rolls.
“The COVID-19 crisis exposed long-standing disparities and inequities across our healthcare system. People of color died from the coronavirus at far higher rates than their white counterparts and continue to be more likely to lack access to healthcare and health insurance. Rolling back pandemic-era protections like the expansion and protection of Medicaid coverage for low-income and vulnerable populations, which addressed some of these long-standing disparities, will disproportionately affect Black and brown Americans. Nearly 15 million people obtained lifesaving medical coverage between 2020-2022, a rare expansion of our social safety net in an era of constant cuts.
Nearly 15 million people obtained lifesaving medical coverage between 2020-2022, a rare expansion of our social safety net in an era of constant cuts.
But all Americans should have health insurance coverage all the time, not only during a global pandemic. Medicaid expansion is popular and it saves lives.
This roll back also comes after a federal judge in Texas struck down protections under the Affordable Care Act for various preventive services including PrEP for HIV prevention, and other services highly recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The whims of a right-wing extremist judge should not override the needs of individuals seeking treatment and could have broad implications for our ability to make personal health decisions.
As we continue to recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic, we should be working towards narrowing these disparities in cost and access, not widening them and leaving millions of Americans vulnerable.”