Statement of Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, in response to data released from Arkansas showing that 4,353 people will lose healthcare coverage due to work requirements:
“As we feared, the draconian requirements compelling Medicaid enrollees to report either their hours worked or to report an exemption has caused thousands of Arkansians to lose their access to healthcare coverage –and as detailed in a recent Health Affairs story, many Medicaid enrollees are unaware of the requirement. As the American Lung Association stated in March, the artificial barriers the state created as a result of this requirement are inconsistent with Medicaid’s objectives of ‘furnishing (1) medical assistance… and (2) rehabilitation and other services….’ Additionally, the Arkansas Medicaid program only accepted work requirement or exemption paperwork via an online system – during limited hours of operation (7am to 9pm) – despite the fact that Arkansas ranks 48th in the country for broadband access.
“The American Lung Association is appalled at this avoidable situation. The state of Arkansas has, by design, locked thousands of Americans out of its Medicaid program until January. Without healthcare coverage, these patients, including those with lung disease, will lose their access to the treatments they need to breathe. This is unacceptable and must be reversed.”
For media interested in speaking with an expert about Medicaid or access to healthcare, contact Allison MacMunn at the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.