THE CMS HEALTHY ADULT OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM JEOPARDIZES REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE FOR WOMEN MOST IN NEED

Press release

THE CMS HEALTHY ADULT OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM JEOPARDIZES REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE FOR WOMEN MOST IN NEED

January 31, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) — Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new block grant option, rebranded as the ‘Healthy Adult Opportunity’ program. The program would allow states to receive a fixed sum for their Medicaid expansion population, thereby capping the funding the state can receive to provide health coverage to those struggling to make ends meet. Currently 37 states have expanded Medicaid coverage as allowed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The new plan will likely limit funds available for Medicaid-supported reproductive health care. Further, research suggests that federal funding associated with block grants decreases over time.

“Today, nearly 20 million women in the U.S. already live in contraceptive deserts, or counties without reasonable access to a publicly funded clinic offering the full range of birth control methods,” said Power to Decide CEO, Ginny Ehrlich. “The Healthy Adult Opportunity program is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. At the end of the day, it is a block grant that will pose yet another barrier to millions of women struggling to make ends meet getting the reproductive health care they need and deserve.”

Medicaid covers 20% of reproductive age women nationwide, including 31% of black women, 27% of Hispanic women, and 50% of women with incomes below the federal poverty level.

“Currently, 75% of all publicly funded family planning is covered by Medicaid,” said Ehrlich. “Women from marginalized communities and women with low incomes will be disproportionally impacted. Ultimately, this is yet another step taken by the Administration to jeopardize women’s health by limiting access to and coverage of reproductive health services for those who need it most.”

Power to Decide is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to ensure all people—no matter who they are, where they live or what their economic status might be—have the power to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. Please visit us at www.PowerToDecide.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.