Building momentum for closing the coverage gap

Cover Alabama has built powerful momentum to expand Medicaid and close the state’s health coverage gap in recent months. In March, Alabama Arise’s Cover Alabama campaign held its first in-person Medicaid expansion lobby day. With the participation of 80 passionate individuals, this event created a powerful platform for advocating Medicaid expansion.

Cover Alabama Lobby Day attendees hold signs showing their support for Medicaid expansion.
Alabama Arise’s Cover Alabama coalition held its first lobby day on March 21 in Montgomery. More than 80 people came to the State House to support our movement for Medicaid expansion. Attendees show signs in support of expanding Medicaid during a news conference.

Alabamians living in the coverage gap – who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for financial help to buy private insurance – shared their personal stories during the rally before engaging in meaningful conversations with their lawmakers. The event garnered great press attention, shining a spotlight on our state’s urgent need to expand health care access.

Other recent wins

In an encouraging development, the House Health Committee held a hearing this year specifically focused on the benefits of closing the coverage gap. This hearing came on the heels of Cover Alabama’s rally. And it marked a significant milestone, as the first time legislators formally discussed Medicaid expansion in a committee hearing. The hearing provided an important platform to educate lawmakers and the public about the positive impact Medicaid expansion can have on our communities.

A man stands at a podium to give a speech on Medicaid expansion.
Arise board member Kenneth Tyrone King speaks to the importance of expanding Medicaid to ensure affordable health coverage for nearly 300,000 Alabama adults with low incomes.

Meanwhile, we also celebrated the recent success of North Carolina, which passed Medicaid expansion in March. That move means Alabama is now one of only 10 states that has not yet expanded its Medicaid program.

We are determined to change that. We will continue advocating for our state to join others in providing vital health care access to those in need.

Looking forward

In April, Arise and Cover Alabama partnered with Doctors for America to conduct a highly engaging half-day advocate training session. Fifty people attended the event in Birmingham or online on a Saturday morning. This event equipped our advocates with the knowledge and tools needed to advocate effectively for Medicaid expansion, empowering them to make a difference.

Thank you to each and every one of you for your unwavering support, dedication and passion for health justice. Together, we are making significant strides toward Medicaid expansion in Alabama.

Let’s continue to raise our voices, engage with lawmakers and advocate for equitable health care access for every Alabamian.