New Kaiser Report Shows Importance of ACA and Medicaid Expansion During COVID-19 Crisis
Today, John Hickenlooper, Senator Michael Bennet, health care providers, and Medicaid patients celebrated the seventh anniversary of Hickenlooper signing Colorado’s Medicaid expansion into law and discussed the need to protect the Affordable Care Act.
During the COVID crisis, Coloradans are relying on the ACA more than ever before. A new Kaiser Family Foundation report found that nearly 300,000 Coloradans have lost their employer insurance during the COVID pandemic — but thanks to the ACA, 149,000 of them are eligible for Medicaid, and 73,000 can receive subsidies for insurance bought through the Connect for Health Colorado marketplace.
During the call, health care providers talked about how Medicaid Expansion has bolstered care in Colorado, particularly rural hospitals and clinics, and a Colorado woman shared her story of losing her job and employer-based insurance due to COVID-19 while pregnant and being able to receive coverage through Medicaid.
“I’m so proud to celebrate today’s anniversary of signing Colorado’s bipartisan Medicaid expansion to get health care to 400,000 Coloradans,” said Hickenlooper. “As we confront this pandemic, we’re relying on Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act more than ever before — but Washington Republicans are still trying to overturn the law, which would be catastrophic and could yank care away from people when they need it most.”
“When the Affordable Care Act passed, some states waffled to expand Medicaid—but John Hickenlooper knew better,” said Bennet. “Even during hyper-partisan times, he worked across the aisle to get it done. All the progress we made — including the Medicaid expansion led by Hickenlooper — could disappear overnight if the Republican lawsuit to overturn the ACA succeeds. We can’t lose this fight. The health care of Coloradans depends on it.”
More than 400,000 Coloradans benefited from Colorado’s Medicaid expansion, and from 2013 to 2017 Colorado’s uninsured rate dropped by nearly two-thirds to about 6 percent. But this successful program is still under attack from Washington Republicans who — in the middle of a pandemic — are still suing to overturn the Affordable Care Act which could throw hundreds of thousands of Coloradans off their health care and threaten protections for countless more with pre-existing conditions.