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In states like Florida, where Republican leaders continue to reject Medicaid expansion, this could disproportionately affect Black and Latino people.

An estimated 15 million Americans, including over 1 million Floridians, could lose their Medicaid insurance when the pandemic-era Public Health Emergency expires in April, and states are forced to go through their Medicaid rolls to see who is no longer eligible. 

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Congress passed legislation to protect access to Medicaid by ensuring no one could be disenrolled during the public health emergency. 

Now in states like Florida, where leaders continue to reject Medicaid expansion after it expires in April, this could disproportionately affect children, people of color, people with disabilities, and others who rely on Medicaid for their health care. 

RELATED: Millions of Americans Could Lose Medicaid Coverage Later This Year When the COVID-19 Emergency Ends. Here’s What You Need to Know.

For this reason, US Rep. Kathy Castor joined Protect Our Care, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting high-quality, affordable and equitable health care, for a press conference to urge governors across the country to use their authority and resources to ensure children and families counting on Medicaid do not lose coverage. 

“Medicaid has been a lifeline to our neighbors for the past three years, thanks to the swift congressional action at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Castor as she recognized the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to expanding access to care and providing guidance to states to help minimize coverage losses. 

RELATED: GOP Plans Could Include Deep Cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act

“Governor DeSantis and his colleagues across the country must take all available steps to ensure that individuals who are renewing their Medicaid coverage are provided every opportunity to stay enrolled in Medicaid if they are eligible, or to be given help enrolling in other affordable coverage options, like the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace,” she concluded. 

For years Democrats have been pushing Florida to expand Medicaid using money provided by the ACA, under which the federal government pays 90% of expansion costs and the state the rest. But state Republicans have consistently refused to accept federal money to expand a program that would provide health coverage for an additional 800,000 to 1 million low-income, uninsured Floridians. 

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