Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) joined Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07) in introducing the Medicaid Saves Lives Act to expand access to health care coverage for over four million low-income Americans. This bill would finish the work of the Affordable Care Act, providing health insurance to low-income Americans in the 12 states that have refused to expand Medicaid, including North Carolina. Closing the coverage gap in the United States will improve health outcomes by providing recipients with access to primary and preventative care, boosting economic mobility, and reducing uncompensated care costs.

“For more than 10 years, I've fought for the expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina,” said Congresswoman Ross. “Over a decade after the passage of the ACA, partisan conflicts have left over 500,000 low-income North Carolinians without access to healthcare. Our people shouldn’t have to wait any longer for the care they need. I’m honored to join Rep. Bourdeaux and our colleagues in introducing this crucial legislation, and I will continue fighting to get Medicaid expansion across the finish line.”

“The state you live in should not determine whether or not you have access to health care, but yet Georgians are being hung out to dry due to inaction,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux. “Not only is refusing to expand Medicaid morally wrong, but it’s also fiscally irresponsible.”

The lack of Medicaid expansion has predominantly harmed people in the South, where state governments have failed to provide basic health coverage for their residents, with minorities and communities of color representing 60% of those in the coverage gap.

The Medicaid Saves Lives Act would create a federal Medicaid lookalike program that would provide full Medicaid benefits to individuals below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level in non-expansion states. It would also provide additional incentives to encourage states like North Carolina to expand Medicaid under the ACA.

Congresswomen Ross and Bourdeaux introduced the Medicaid Saves Lives Act alongside Reps. Kathy Manning (NC-06), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Nikema Williams (GA-05), Lucy McBath (GA-06), Marc Veasey (TX-33), and Gwen Moore (WI-04). The legislation directly targets the 12 states which have refused to expand Medicaid: Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, Kansas, Wyoming, Wisconsin.

The Medicaid Saves Lives Act was introduced in the Senate earlier this month by Senators Warnock, Ossoff, and Baldwin.