Warnock pushes Medicaid expansion as equity issue amid Democrats’ battle for healthcare
Senator Raphael WarnockRaphael Warnock Democrats disagree with Manchin over child tax credit provision (D-Ga.) Implored his colleagues to include legislation expanding Medicaid as his party quickly works to craft its sweeping social benefits and climate spending plan, calling the measure a way to advance equity in the country’s health system.
“In my home state of Georgia there are 275,000 Georgians in the coverage gap – it’s a matter of fairness – of which 47% are black, 9% are Latino and 63% are families who are working, ”Warnock said in remarks to the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday.
“We need to remember the faces of those affected by the policies we choose to create and not to create,” he said. “The human costs of the political work we do here in the Senate. There are real consequences for real people when we don’t do what we were sent here to do. “
His comments come as Democrats have worked hard to try and complete a massive spending program they seek to use to unlock funds for paid family leave, universal preschool, the climate effort, Medicare and Medicaid extensions. , as well as affordable housing.
However, while moderates have expressed concerns about the size of the plan, leaders have been working in recent weeks to reduce proposed spending levels for the partisan bill, which will likely need the support of nearly all members of the House. the Democratic House and all Democratic Senators to pass Congress.
Among some of the divisions that remain among lawmakers include disagreements over legislation that would extend Medicaid coverage to the dozen Republican-led states that have rejected it. The proposal also competed with another measure that would expand Medicare coverage to include hearing, vision and dental benefits.
“As we debate whether and how to expand health care coverage here in the Senate, lives are literally caught in the crosshairs,” said Warnock, whose state is one of 12. States that have denied Medicaid coverage.
It is estimated that more than 2 million people are in the coverage gap in these states, including thousands in Georgia.
In his testimony on Wednesday, Warnock said he was “not asking for additional benefits for Georgia or better coverage for those in Georgia or those of the other 11 non-expanding states.”
“I am asking for basic justice and fairness. In particular, I ask that we give the working poor – because that’s a lot of what we talk about in the coverage gap – give them a chance, ”he said.