FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 6, 2023
Contact: Alicia Mercedes, email@example.com
WASHINGTON – Today, the NAACP, UnidosUS, and nine other leading civil rights organizations released a report detailing how America is suffering an avoidable civil rights and health equity disaster six months into the disenrollment of the pandemic-era Medicaid continuous eligibility requirements.
NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson joined a press call today featuring civil rights organization leaders and members of Congress to discuss the report.
"It is a sad reality that it took a global pandemic for our nation's elected leadership to expand life-saving healthcare services to hardworking Americans. The fact of the matter is, our healthcare system has long failed our most vulnerable," said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President & CEO. "This data is further proof that the procedural dis-enrollment process is steeped in racism. We will not stand by while millions within our community are once again left without a lifeline. We are proud to stand with UnidosUS and other leading civil rights organizations to call for an immediate pause on all procedural Medicaid disenrollments. Our state leaders must make every effort to re-enroll those who have lost coverage, leveraging available data to verify eligibility or providing readily accessible support to complete the paperwork needed to confirm eligibility. The NAACP is committed to getting politicians' hands off our healthcare and working with them to make healthcare for all a reality."
The disenrollment has caused history's deepest and steepest Medicaid crash, with nearly 8 million people losing coverage in just six months. Further, the report found that three-quarters of the individuals who lost coverage were terminated for procedural reasons - most often due to simple paperwork issues. As a result of this research, civil rights organizations are calling on states to pause procedural disenrollments until implementation of a new process that would dramatically cut rates of procedural termination.
While few states have shared disenrollment data by race and ethnicity, based on the known demographic characteristics of Medicaid beneficiaries in each state, at least 54% of the beneficiaries who have lost Medicaid are people of color. Additionally, the report findings show that the disenrollment has caused more children to lose Medicaid coverage than ever before.
The NAACP co-authored the report along with the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Council of Negro Women, National Urban League, National Council of Urban Indian Health, Southern Poverty Law Center, UnidosUS, Coalition on Human Needs, and Protect Our Care.
The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.
NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.