Affiliates & Partners
Newport County Community Mental Health Center, RI Community Food Bank, Mental Health Recovery Coalition, Planned Parenthood RI, Substance Use & Mental Health Leadership Council, West Bay Community Action, United Way Rhode Island, Coalition for Children and Families, Senior Agenda Coalition
Take Action and Get the Facts!
The Problem with Co-pays and Work Requirements in Medicaid
Here in Rhode Island, while proposed Medicaid cuts in the Governor’s newly released budget recommendations avoid roll-backs to eligibility and services, they include new co-pays for adult Medicaid members that range from $2.50 for a generic-drug prescription to $8 for a “non-emergency” visit to an emergency room.
These co-pays may seem small, but for low-income people that become sick, or for those that suffer with a chronic condition requiring monthly prescriptions, they can add up quickly, causing serious financial difficulties and forcing people to choose between their health and other basic needs.
A robust body of research shows that cost-sharing discourages low-income people’s use of necessary health care. It’s simple: people in poverty can’t afford to pay for their health care after paying for food and housing.
Meanwhile, At the Federal Level…
The Trump Administration has announced that they will allow states to apply for waivers to impose work requirements for some Medicaid beneficiaries. This is unprecedented in the Medicaid program, and deeply troubling.
Work requirements directly conflict with the underlying objectives of the Medicaid program and, according to some policy experts, are an illegal abuse of the Secretary of Health & Human Service’s waiver authority
People who fail to meet a work requirement could be disenrolled from the program and lose access to the care they need. This will likely have the opposite of the intended effect, since good health is a prerequisite to finding and keeping a job.
To look for and keep a job, you need to be healthy. Punishing people who have lost a job by taking away their access to medications and medical care will only make them sicker and less able to work in the future.
States are proposing work requirements to solve a problem that does not exist. In Rhode Island, a majority of adults on Medicaid are already working, some more than one job, or they are elderly and/or disabled.
People say that having Medicaid made it easier to look for a job and stay employed. Making Medicaid more difficult to access could have the exact opposite effect on employment that supporters of work requirements claim to be pursuing.
There’s no evidence a work requirement increases long-term employment or reduces poverty. These policies just create red tape and one more hoop to jump through before someone sick can see a doctor.
Learn more! Click the graphics and links for more in-depth analysis.
From Community Catalyst: Work Requirements: A One Way Ticket to the Coverage Gap
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Sabotage Watch
Make a Call!
Click here to contact Senators Reed and Whitehouse to let them know you support the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid.
SHARE YOUR ACA or MEDICAID STORY or help a family member or friend to share theirs. There’s a lot of mis-information about the ACA and Medicaid. Your story will help demonstrate that the ACA and Medicaid Expansion is a step forward in achieving coverage for all. Scroll down for a helpful form.
Get the Facts
The ACA and Medicaid are a success in Rhode Island!
Below are just a few facts to demonstrate why we must continue to move forward in ensuring every Rhode Islander has quality, affordable coverage.
30,000 people buy coverage through HealthSource RI. A majority qualify for tax credits to help cover their premiums and subsidies that makes their coverage affordable by helping with out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.
70,000 are covered under our State’s Medicaid expansion, a majority of them working adults.
50,000 seniors and adults with disabilities, 155,000 children, parents and pregnant women, and 12,000 children with special health care needs are covered under traditional Medicaid.
Every Rhode Islander benefits from a stronger healthcare system and from guaranteed coverage for Essential Benefits such as pre-natal care, cancer screenings, and well doctor visits.
What’s What in the Health Care Debate!
We strongly support the Affordable Care Act and appreciate what it has done to advance our healthcare system. But we know that to achieve health care for all we need more systemic change. And it’s to that end that Bernie Sanders released his Medicare for All bill, co-sponsored by Senator Whitehouse and endorsed by Congressmen Cicilline and Langevin. The bill could dramatically shift the debate about health care forward, providing a platform for more open and honest dialogue.
What we must do is make sure that we use the release of Bernie Sanders’ single-payer Medicare for All bill in the U.S. Senate to shift the health care debate toward a more honest dialogue. If we all stay engaged, we can move our nation forward towards universal health care as a right.
What you can do right now:
Learn: As Senator Whitehouse explained, the Medicare for All bill is, “At this point, pretty aspirational…a lot of the details still remain to be worked out.” There are many good, progressive voices in the debate about how we ‘work it out’ who are each contributing to moving action forward. To celebrate that debate, below are a few links to the thoughts and ideas of those with deep experience in either or both politics and policy who share a common vision for health care for all but may share differing views on how to get there.
- Bernie Sanders: Why We Need Medicare for All
- Sheldon Whitehouse: Whitehouse explains Medicare For All, prospects for bills passage
- Ron Pollock: Many ways to Universal Health Care
- Andy Slavitt: Our Next Health Care Debate
IN THE NEWS:
From the NYT on a win for reproductive health: Court Blocks Trump Order Against Contraceptive Care
Op Ed Linda Katz and Karen Malcolm: Governor’s Medicaid cuts go too deep
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