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Saunders joins Families USA in calling for more federal aid, Medicaid funding

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Saunders joins Families USA in calling for more federal aid, Medicaid funding
By AFSCME Staff ·

AFSCME President Lee Saunders joined health care advocacy leaders and experts to call on Congress to provide more federal aid to communities across America.

Such aid must include at least $1 trillion to states, cities and towns to offset the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has already cost upwards of 1 million public service jobs.

“It is the only way to maintain the essential services that keep our communities running – everything from public safety to health care to transportation,” Saunders said on the Families USA telebriefing last Thursday. “It’s the only way to keep this recession from becoming a depression.”

Given the exploding demand for Medicaid services that states are currently facing and will continue to experience for the foreseeable future, the congressional aid package must also extend and increase the federal share of Medicaid costs, Saunders said.

Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Families USA Executive Director Frederick Isasi, as well as health care advocacy leaders and experts were on the call. Families USA is a nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to achieving affordable health care for all. Listen to the entire telebriefing here.

“If we don’t pass a huge package of aid for states, cities and towns, it will shatter our communities,” Saunders warned. “It will mean our hospitals are overwhelmed and understaffed. It will mean our schools don’t have the resources to educate our kids. It will mean our water supply is compromised, our garbage doesn’t get collected, and our roads fall into disrepair.”

He suggested that the federal government is not doing enough to control the spread of the virus or help individuals and families respond to unforeseen health care needs.

“We also need resources to support testing, tracing and treatment,” Saunders said. “And we need to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act, including COBRA subsidies for people who’ve lost their jobs.”

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