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Republican states are being provided a Medicaid deal that might be too silly to refuse on the COVID-19 invoice

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The Center for Budgetary and Policy Priorities estimates that this, combined with an increase in ACA eligibility for lower-income individuals, would mean that nearly 4 million currently uninsured people could be insured. This would include around 640,000 low-income basic and frontline workers.

This is all great, despite the fact that these Republican states are so anti-Obamacare that even an influx of cash may not be enough to do it. Congress and Biden can only try on that front. But what they are doing, which can be very effective, is to allow states to extend the coverage period for new mothers to 12 full months. This extension would take five years for states and, in turn, particularly affect the non-expanding states, where some programs expel mothers 60 days after birth, even though their infants are insured for one year. This would give a huge boost to new mothers as they could have pregnancy-related health complications like postpartum depression or recovery from a cesarean section treated with consistent coverage for a full year.

In the states where Medicaid has expanded, most of these women will be able to maintain Medicaid coverage because their income is still eligible. However, the non-expanding states start it after 60 days. And because the non-expanding states are mostly in the southeastern US, it means a lot of women of color don't have this coverage. There is an option to extend coverage for 12 months, but states wishing to do so must obtain a waiver from the federal government. This legislation would allow states to do so without this application process.

This would be part of the support that Democratic lawmakers want to give black mothers with their Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021. According to the Centers for Disease Control, black mothers are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. This problem involves a lot more than just getting access to coverage under Medicaid, but it would still be a key component in solving the problem, especially now.

"During COVID-19, we have seen Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and Asian Americans have higher levels of exposure to the virus and more serious health consequences from infection. These differences are unacceptable," said Rep. Lauren Underwood, one of the parent companies & # 39; sponsors said. "The hour for courageous action has come and courageous action is what the momnibus represents."

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