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provides health insurance for those who can’t afford coverage — and the administration is trying to gut it

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Why It Matters

  • 70 million people with low incomes depend on Medicaid for health coverage. Most of them (62%) are women.

  • Groups facing discrimination and systemic oppression in the health care system — including LGBTQ people, people of color, people with disabilities, and women — are more likely to have low incomes and more likely to use Medicaid. These groups would be the most hurt by losing access to Medicaid.

  • Without Medicaid, millions of people couldn’t access to a wide range of health care services, from dental care to mental health care, as well as sexual and reproductive health care — including prenatal care, birth control, and STD testing.  

Related Players

Donald Trump

President of the United States

Elected to Office: 11-8-2016
Alex Azar

Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Nominated by Trump: 11-13-2017
Mary Mayhew

Former Deputy Administrator & Director of Medicaid & the Children's Health Insurance Program (HHS)

Resigned: 1-4-2019


  • What to expect next

    Changes to Medicaid could threaten health coverage for 13 million women of reproductive age

  • 5-6-2019

    Proposed change to poverty calculation could cause millions to lose Medicaid

  • 1-19-2018

    CMS encourages states to block Medicaid patients from care at Planned Parenthood

  • 1-11-2018

    Administration encourages states to impose new work requirements for people with Medicaid

  • 10-15-2018

    Mary Mayhew—who undermined Medicaid in Maine—picked to lead Medicaid nationwide

"I have family members who have Medicaid coverage, and the thought of them losing access to lifesaving care often kept me up at night."

About 20% of Reproductive-Age Women in the U.S. Get Health Insurance Through Medicaid

To put it another way: 1 in 5 reproductive-age women are covered by Medicaid. So, restrictions on Medicaid are also restrictions on women’s access to health care.

Medicaid coverage also is critical to closing the gap in health care access for women of color. Due to systemic barriers, about one-third of Black women and a quarter of Latinas ages 15 to 44 are enrolled in Medicaid, compared to 14% of white women.

Discrimination and harassment in accessing health care also leave LGBTQ people disproportionately likely to live in poverty or without health coverage. Twenty-four percent of lesbian and bisexual women experience poverty, compared to 19% of heterosexual women. Transgender people are four times as likely as the general population to live in extreme poverty. This makes Medicaid vital for the health of LGBTQ communities.

Background on Medicaid

Proposing to Cut Trillions of Dollars from Medicaid

During his presidential campaign, Trump promised he wouldn’t cut Medicaid. However, his 2020 budget plan proposes cutting nearly $1.5 trillion from Medicaid over 10 years. That cuts roughly $1 out of every $4 the government spends on Medicaid — so, millions of Americans could lose their health insurance.

Risking Care for 13 Million Women of Reproductive Age

Like last year’s budget proposal, Trump’s 2020 budget proposal — including the overall cuts and work requirements — would threaten health coverage of birth control, STD testing and treatment, and pregnancy-related care for 13 million women ages 15­ to 44. About 62% of Medicaid beneficiaries are women.

NBC News
Medicaid Expansion Covered Hundreds of Thousands of LGBTQ People

States with Medicaid expansion increased Medicaid coverage for lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals from 7% in 2013 to 15% in 2016. That’s about 511,000 more LGB individuals with Medicaid coverage across the United States — but restrictions on Medicaid threaten those gains. Currently, Medicaid covers about 21% of the total U.S. population.

Kaiser Family Foundation
Adding Work Requirements for Medicaid

The administration proposed harsh, new requirements for states to make on people in order for them to obtain and keep Medicaid. This proposal comes as nine states gained approval and another six states requested permission from the administration to enforce work requirements.

Commonwealth Fund
Threatening Planned Parenthood Patients

Cuts to Medicaid would significantly affect Planned Parenthood patients, about half of whom get their health care through Medicaid.


Related Policies

The Title X Gag Rule

Planned Parenthood

The Health Agenda