Saffron Restaurants reservation Cover Alabama calls on Governor Ivey to close the healthcare gap

Cover Alabama calls on Governor Ivey to close the healthcare gap

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On Monday, a coalition of more than 80 organizations, partners in Cover Alabama, sent a letter to Governor Kay Ivey in an effort to convince her to conduct further research on closing the state’s health care gap.

Cover Alabama is a nonpartisan coalition whose mission is to provide Alabamians with quality and affordable health care and create a sustainable health care system. Currently, 300,000 state residents lack access to health care, and Alabama is one of only 10 states that have yet to expand Medicaid to low-income adults.

“We urge you to recognize the urgency and importance of prioritizing the health and well-being of our state’s residents by taking immediate action to close the health care coverage gap,” said Debbie Smith, Cover Alabama campaign director in Alabama Arise.

The group’s call to action came shortly after a joint hearing by the Senate and House Health Committees. Republican lawmakers from Arkansas and North Carolina spoke about their experiences closing coverage gaps by using a public-private option or expanding traditional Medicaid, respectively.

In the letter from Cover Alabama, they cite the need for widespread access to health care to increase labor force participation, productivity and economic growth. Investing in Alabamians’ health care would also relieve pressure on hospitals and health care providers, especially in rural areas where unpaid costs could easily force these hospitals to close their doors.

Moreover, the solution is more sustainable and cost-effective than previous years. Alabama would have access to $619.4 million in federal funds through the American Rescue Plan Act. These funds, in addition to the 90/10 federal and state fund matching, could result in the federal government providing $397 million in annual expenditures currently borne by the state.

While the legislative session ended without any steps toward closing the gap, executive action by Governor Ivey could solve this problem at any time.

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