40% of Alabama residents who died from the virus did not have health insurance : politics

Jane Adams with Alabama Arise said the pandemic proves it is time for more Alabamians to have access to health insurance.

“This report is so important because it highlights when you have these large areas where people are uninsured, large county populations where people are uninsured, the virus is more likely to spread around because people aren’t going to seek the care because they are worried about the cost,” said Adams. “So then, you see higher death rates and case rates in those communities.” …

A separate report shows Black Alabamians, women make up a disproportionate percentage of low wage workers without health insurance.

Alabama is one of 12 states that has not expanded Medicaid, and if the state were to do so, approximately 204,000 more, or nearly half of the state’s total uninsured, would gain health insurance, studies have estimated. …

“The intersection of these reports is very revealing,” said Jim Carnes, policy director at Alabama Arise, speaking to APR on Thursday. “We see that community spread is higher in places where more people are uninsured, and lack of insurance falls heavily on people who work in the jobs that we’ve deemed essential during the pandemic. These folks are valuable, but they’re not valued.” …

Alabama Republicans and Gov. Kay Ivey in the past have said the cost to the state was a barrier for expanding Medicaid, but after those federal incentives came into play the conversation has begun to change. Carnes said he’s hopeful state leaders are moving quickly towards deciding to expand.

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