This decision will directly impact many of the people that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul serves. As we know from our home visits, lack of insurance coverage makes people ignore preventive medicine; this, in turn, can cause mild medical conditions to spiral out of control, requiring expensive treatment that the uninsured can afford even less. Eventually, the only treatment available is through hospital emergency rooms, at a very high cost to society.
To expand Medicaid is a decision that is taken state by state. Diocesan Councils in the same state should coordinate their advocacy and work together until a favorable decision is made by their Governors and Legislature.
As we discussed in last month’s newsletter, potential action can include:
·Build broad public support for Medicaid expansion within the local Catholic Church, with interfaith coalitions and with neighborhood / civic associations.
·Find / recruit allies supporting Medicaid expansion (local Hospitals, doctor associations, businesses, friends, neighbors, etc.)
·Involve the State Catholic Bishop Conference in supporting the expansion
·Coordinate Action with all the above
·Collect and distribute compelling personal stories to be used during our advocacy efforts
·Write / meet with the State Governor – include Council President and representatives of the Board
·Meet with State legislators
·Advertise the campaign through the media
·Write letters to the editor and Editorials about Medicaid expansion
The Society’s goal is to help the people we serve to become self-sufficient. Vincentians do all they can with limited resources; advocacy is simply making the larger "society" do their part.
Voice of the Poor Vincentians at the local or regional level are available to help build and coordinate a strategy in each state.