Medicaid Changes Threaten Important Coverage for Maternal Depression, Young Adults
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), including its expansion of Medicaid coverage, significantly increased health insurance coverage and access to health and mental health services. Prior to the ACA’s launch in 2014, many low-income adults, particularly young adults and parents, either were not offered or could not afford private insurance and also were not eligible for Medicaid. The ACA, and in particular the Medicaid expansion component that 31 states and DC opted to take, is the reason why a record number of children and adults have affordable health care.
Maternal depression screening and treatment are among the many critical health care services that would be severely compromised by the ACA repeal efforts now back on the table in the U.S. House of Representatives. Repealing the ACA and restructuring or cutting Medicaid financing would have serious implications for the wellbeing of low-income people, particularly young adults, women, and their children. In March, due to a lack of support, House Republicans were forced to suspend a vote on the American Health Care Act, which, if passed, would have been a major step in undoing the historic health care gains of the ACA.
And they’re back at it again! This week, Republican House Leaders continued their efforts to repeal the ACA, to make structural changes to Medicaid, and to make deep cuts to federal Medicaid spending. Such action would be harmful for low-income mothers who would face significant barriers to accessing crucial behavioral and mental health services including screening and treatment of maternal depression, potentially hindering their parenting ability. These types of proposals would not only cause the historically low rate of uninsured adults and children to skyrocket, but also directly harm children’s healthy development and future outcomes. Many young adults would lose access to the preventive services and treatment that make it possible for them to work, as well as the protection from financial disaster that insurance provides.
We must not jeopardize the critical health care coverage that Medicaid provides. Efforts to backpedal the Medicaid expansion and underfund the program endanger the lives of our nation’s children and families. Doing so has both immediate and longer-term effects on the wellbeing of adults and the ability for their children to succeed in the future.
Call your members of Congress to let them know how critical Medicaid is for moms and babies, and for the lifetime health of our children and young adults. Tell House Leaders to stop their assault on Medicaid and to protect comprehensive Medicaid coverage; they should not roll back the tremendous gains the ACA has made.