CHICAGO | February 2, 2021
The American Lung Association has long championed patients’ access to quality and affordable healthcare. Today, the organization announced that with new support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Lung Association is expanding its work to protect Medicaid and increase patients’ access to care, especially those in historically underserved communities, including low-income communities and communities of color.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has decreased the uninsured rate and reduced racial disparities in access to care, however, federal and state policy changes over the past four years have increased the number of individuals without healthcare coverage. In particular, regulatory changes and waiver approvals have placed the healthcare of those with pre-existing conditions at risk.
“Access to quality, affordable healthcare coverage is critical to reducing racial and other health disparities and ensuring equitable outcomes among all populations, including children and families,” said Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “Our work will educate the public, policymakers and other key stakeholders about the impacts of policy proposals on patients’ healthcare coverage.”
The beginning of a new Administration creates new opportunities to protect and expand access to quality and affordable healthcare, particularly through the regulatory process and other executive branch activities. Through this initiative, the Lung Association will draw upon research and patient experiences to highlight how policies would impact access to healthcare coverage.
Efforts will focus on strengthening the unified voice of the patient community in administrative advocacy efforts and developing resources for patient organizations to weigh in on proposed rules, waiver applications and other policies impacting patients’ healthcare coverage. The project is funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich.
“Our work will particularly focus on lower-income children and families who are uninsured or receive coverage through Medicaid or state marketplaces and those who face systemic barriers to care that contribute to racial and other health disparities,” said Wimmer. “Ultimately, we hope that this work will restore coverage for those who have lost it and build upon the progress of the ACA to ensure care for the millions of Americans with and at risk for serious and chronic health conditions.”
For more information on this partnership and the importance of lung health and quality and affordable healthcare, visit Lung.org. Journalists seeking to schedule an interview with a lung health or health policy expert may contact Allison MacMunn at 312-801-7628 or [email protected]
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.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.
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