Montgomery, AL (Jan. 13, 2014) — Members of Saving OurSelves (S.O.S.) are holding an 11 a.m. rally and a noon press conference at Alabama’s state capitol on the Legislature’s opening today, Jan. 14, urging Gov. Dr. Robert Bentley to “put people before politics” and expand Medicaid, as well as address other issues of justice and democracy.
By joining extremist elements in states across the nation stubbornly refusing federal dollars available for Medicaid expansion, Gov. Bentley has unnecessarily put the health and lives of our poor and under-insured citizens at risk. If he agreed to the expansion, Gov. Bentley could open doors to quality healthcare for as many as 300,000 Alabamians, plus bring billions of dollars in business revenue and create more than 30,700 jobs to our state over the next six years.
Many hard-working Alabamians have no health coverage because they currently earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but earn too little to afford quality health insurance in the marketplace. However, expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act would solve this inequity. It would open the program to adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (about $15,000 a year for individuals and $31,000 a year for a family of four).
But Gov. Bentley, a medical doctor sworn to do no harm and to use his healing knowledge to help fellow human beings, is turning his back on an opportunity to do so for reasons that are rooted in the politics of “No,” which erroneously believes helping our own citizens is too costly.
Others have added their voices to this clarion call for Gov. Bentley to expand Medicaid, particularly Dr. David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama. “We salute Dr. Bronner. He is one of our most progressive pro business leaders, and we are pleased to see that this movement is now being heard from the governmental suites, down to the streets. We wish only our Governor had the same concern for the people and the billions of dollars in business that Medicaid expansion would generate in our state.”
SOS calls on citizens who stand with truth and justice to add their voices to those pressing Gov. Bentley to expand Medicaid in Alabama for the health of our citizens and the good of our economy.