The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill the week of April 24, 2023, entitled the Limit, Grow, Save Act. The bill would cut at least $142 billion from government programs. The bill also includes work requirements for individuals on Medicaid. The work requirements will result in people losing access to their health insurance, which is vital to catching kidney disease early.
Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, states have had the ability to expand their Medicaid programs to all people with incomes up to 130% of poverty, which is $20,120 in annual income for an individual in 2023. There are currently 10 states that did not expand Medicaid, and we have seen a difference in health status compared to states that did expand Medicaid. About 75% of new ESRD cases are due to diabetes and hypertension/heart disease, and people who live in Medicaid expansion states have better blood pressure and blood glucose levels.[i]
Additionally, compared to states that did not expand Medicaid, people with kidney failure living in states that did expand the program had lower mortality rates in the first year of dialysis and more ESRD patients were preemptively placed on the transplant list so they could be on dialysis for a shorter time.[ii][iii]
Approximately 61% of non-elderly adults with Medicaid do work full or part time, and 30% do not work because of caregiving responsibilities, illness or disability, or school attendance.[iv] When states have tried to impose work requirements for Medicaid eligibility, it has often resulted in people losing their health care coverage without being aware of it. There are many examples of people only finding out they no longer had Medicaid coverage when they tried to get a doctor's appointment or a drug refilled.
Because Medicaid is for low-income individuals, people who have lost their job turn to Medicaid as their insurance until they find a new job. Requiring a job when people are looking for a job undermines the very reason that the United States has Medicaid as a safety-net program.
Please ask your Representative to oppose cuts to research and work requirements for Medicaid in the Limit, Grow, Save Act by clicking here.