Trump’s Medicaid Overhaul Will Hurt Black Women

 The Trump administration announced an overhaul of the Medicaid program Thursday that could deny or limit benefits and may result in reducing enrollment in the program, particularly in states hostile to the Affordable Care Act that want to limit expenses.

The Trump administration’s Medicaid overhaul will have severe and long-lasting consequences for those who rely upon the program to access health care services—especially Black women and their families. 

(David Sachs for SEIU / Creative Commons)

Women make up the majority of Medicaid enrollees (53 percent) and approximately 40 million women rely on the program for life-saving care. Nearly one-third (31 percent) of Black women of reproductive age and (27 percent) of Latinas of reproductive age are enrolled in the Medicaid program. Granting states the ability to block grant Medicaid will dramatically change the original intent of the program and only exacerbate already existing health disparities that disproportionately impact Black women.

Trump has opened the door for states to further limit access to health care and to purge people from the Medicaid program. The states likely to do this are the red states where health care disparities already endanger Black women’s lives.

We know from experience that Black maternal health improves with expanded access to care, including Medicaid expansion. This latest attack on health care access is in keeping with the administration’s ongoing war on health care.

We denounce Trump’s efforts to dismantle Medicaid and call on public health officials and elected leaders to strengthen access to health care for all. We urge voters to hold the president and their state elected officials accountable for any and all efforts to cut Medicaid.

About

Marcela Howell is the founder and president of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda and the former senior policy and communications consultant for Communications Consortium Media Center and vice president of policy, communications and marketing at Advocates for Youth. She has a Masters in Literature from Saint Louis University and a JD from Pepperdine School of Law. You can follow Marcela on Twitter at @BlackWomensRJ.