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July 2009 U.S. Poverty Laser Talk

Improve Low-Income Health Coverage and Access

Domestic Laser Talk June/July 2009

The laser talk serves as a useful starting point for your advocacy work, whether as a talking points during a town hall meeting or as a primer for face-to-face meetings with candidates and elected officials. Follow up with more information and evidence supporting your points. And of course, adapt the laser talk to reflect your own experiences and why you care about the issue! For more on how to create your own laser talk, see the RESULTS Activist Toolkit: Create and deliver a laser talk to another activist about the issue you choose and RESULTS Health Care for All by 2010 campaign pages.

Expand Medicaid and Community Health Centers in Health Reform

Engage: Right now, there are 60 million low-income people in the United States enrolled in the Medicaid program, half of them children.

Problem: Unfortunately, some of America’s lowest income persons are locked out of Medicaid, such as adults without children, because they don’t fit into a certain group. In addition, the 1,100 community health centers in the U.S. that serve millions of Medicaid patients are struggling to keep up with increasing demand for services.

Inform or Illustrate: By expanding Medicaid to include all persons below 150 percent of the federal poverty line, we could reduce the number of uninsured in the U.S. by at least one-third. In addition, by increasing annual funding for Community Health Centers from around $2 billion currently to $8.3 billion, as proposed in the Access for All America Act (S.486/H.R.1296), we could serve 30 million people per year by 2015. As Congress finalizes health reform legislation, including these changes will go a long way in helping us reach health care for all.

Call to Action: Will you work with House and Senate leadership to expand Medicaid to all persons below 150 percent of poverty and increase investment for community health centers as provided in the Access for All America Act?