July 2016 Issue
A New Day for Medicaid Coverage Is Born on the Bayou
One of the main priorities of Community Catalyst’s Affordable Care Implementation Fund is supporting efforts to close the coverage gap in the remaining 19 states that have not accepted Medicaid expansion. After victories in Montana and Alaska, our focus is on making meaningful progress in the Deep South. Ninety percent of people in the coverage gap live in the South, and nearly 50 percent live in either Florida or Texas. People of color have been disproportionately impacted by their state’s decision to not expand Medicaid: 55 percent of those caught in the gap nationwide are people of color, including 74 percent in Georgia, 67 percent in Texas, and 57 percent in Florida. And in many Southern states, opposition to closing the coverage gap is fierce. State leaders loudly proclaim their refusal to provide affordable health coverage to their constituents, and there is no shortage of attempts to demean low-income people while refusing to consider the moral and economic benefits of closing the gap.
Vermont Is the Latest State to Green Light Dental Therapy
At a ceremony on June 20, 2016, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law legislation making the Green Mountain state the fourth in the country to establish the practice of dental therapy. The addition of dental therapists to dental teams helps to eliminate the oral health inequities in a broken U.S. dental care system that leaves tens of millions without access to quality affordable oral health care.
Vermont Governor Shumlin Signs Dental Therapy Bill Into Law
Community Catalyst's Dental Access Project celebrated a big victory in Vermont with the passage of the Dental Therapy Bill last month. Community Catalyst worked with and alongside state partners to achieve this accomplishment. Learn more about the Vermont Dental Therapy win in Kathy Melley's Newsletter Article.
Arizona An Outlier No More: Kids Team Supports Advocates in Restoring CHIP
Providing access to health care for children seems like a no-brainer. Yet in 2010, Arizona’s governor and Republican-led Legislature froze the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), called KidsCare, dropping the number of children enrolled in the program from roughly 45,000 to fewer than 1,000 over the next six years.
As Enrollment Increases, Need for Health Literacy Remains Top Consumer Concern
Though we’ve made great strides over the past four years in terms of enrollment – with approximately 20 million individuals receiving health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – we have much work to do to ensure those newly covered are able to take full advantage of needed care. For the newly enrolled, and countless others, health insurance is just the beginning of a longer journey to better health.
As we know, health insurance is not, by itself, an outcome. For the ACA to reach its full potential, consumers need to be educated and empowered to use the full benefits of their health insurance – whether through Medicaid and Medicare or private insurance.