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Alabama Arise Action to urge closing of health coverage gap at State House news conference


Alabama is one of 10 states that have opted not to expand Medicaid to cover adults with low incomes.

More than 220,000 Alabamians are currently left in a health coverage gap. A family of three must make less than $4,475 a year ‒ just 18% of the federal poverty level ‒ for the parents to qualify for Alabama Medicaid, but unless that family makes at least $24,860 a year, they will not qualify for subsidies to buy a private plan on the marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act.

By closing the state’s health coverage gap, activists and advocacy groups report that state lawmakers could save hundreds of lives, create thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars of economic activity across Alabama.

Alabama Arise Action members and advocacy partners will gather Tuesday, April 2, at 12:15 p.m. in Room 200 of the State House in Montgomery for a news conference on the urgency of closing Alabama’s health coverage gap.

Alabama Arise Action is a statewide, member-led nonprofit organization advancing public policies to improve the lives of Alabamians who are marginalized by poverty. Arise’s membership includes faith-based, community, nonprofit and civic groups, grassroots leaders and individuals from across Alabama. Alabama Arise Action is the 501(c)(4) partner organization of Alabama Arise.

Tuesday's news conference will be part of Arise’s annual Legislative Day. More than 150 Alabamians are expected to participate in the event in support of Arise’s policy priorities.

Scheduled speakers include Honour Hill, director of March of Dimes Alabama’s maternal and infant health initiatives, and Farrell Turner, president of the Alabama Rural Health Association.

Arise’s Cover Alabama campaign director Debbie Smith also will speak at the event. Cover Alabama is a nonpartisan alliance of more than 130 advocacy groups, businesses, community organizations, consumer groups, health care providers and religious congregations advocating for Alabama to provide quality, affordable health coverage to its residents and implement a sustainable health care system.

Closing Alabama’s health coverage gap through Medicaid expansion has been a longtime priority for Arise members, according to the organization. The group says this investment in a healthier Alabama would reduce maternal and infant mortality rates and would increase the state’s workforce participation rate by helping workers stay healthy enough to seek and maintain employment. Organizers of the event say closing the gap also would help struggling rural hospitals remain open to serve everyone in their communities.

Learn more about how expanding Medicaid coverage could positively impact Alabama, including a stronger labor force and bigger economy boost, by clicking here.

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