As COVID-19 Spreads Across the Country, Senator Shaheen Highlights Critical Role Medicaid Expansion Plays in Public Health
Concord, NH—This week, more than 35 advocates and citizens joined Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Protect Our Care NH in a Tele-Town Hall to highlight Medicaid’s vital importance in our communities. Medicaid is especially critical as the nation responds to the coronavirus pandemic, providing key funding for hospitals and helping patients get the care they need.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is the worst crisis this country has faced in my lifetime. Millions of Americans are being laid off every week, which will make health care exponentially less affordable for so many families. There are also more than 30 million Americans who lacked consistent health insurance coverage before this crisis,” said Shaheen. “Now more than ever, we need to ensure they can access health care coverage, which is why Congress must deliver financial support to improve affordability. Medicaid expansion has been critical in providing health care coverage to Granite Staters, helping 51,000 access affordable care and has ensured substance use disorder treatment for 11,000 throughout our state. I have and will continue to fight to protect Medicaid funding.”
Medicaid expansion granted coverage to more than 55,000 Granite Staters including children, seniors, and people with disabilities, and with more than 100,000 people now out of work in New Hampshire due the pandemic, it is especially important for low-income adults to have a place to turn for coverage in this public health emergency.
NH resident Jennifer Bertrand shared her own story about the importance of Medicaid for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities particularly during the transition to adulthood and beyond. She spoke to the Senator about her adult daughter Chloe, who will be turning 21 in 2020, and how Medicaid has transformed her life for the better.
The senator was joined in the town hall by repressive from groups including Granite State Progress Education Fund, Covering NH, Bi-State Primary Care Association, Kent Street Coalition Able NH, Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy The Partnership of Successful Living, NH Medical Society and New Futures.
In 2014 New Hampshire opened access to expanded Medicaid. In the first three months, more than 18,000 people enrolled and grew to more than 50,000. Many of these residents had no health insurance before the expansion of Medicaid.