I have written many a blog here at the National Women’s Law Center explaining why Medicaid is important to women’s health. Nearly 70% of adults on Medicaid are women and the program provides important benefits to women including family planning services, comprehensive maternity care, treatment for chronic conditions, treatment for breast and cervical cancer, and long-term care services and supports. If you’re a regular reader, you may have even seen my blogs explaining that Medicaid’s cost sharing limits and low or absent premiums are vital to low-income women who have limited disposable incomes to cover their family’s basic needs.
But today, I’ve got a few new reasons. Three million reasons to be exact. Because three million is the number of women’s health sector jobs that Medicaid spending supports. Every time a Medicaid recipient visits a doctor or hospital, receives a lab test, or is admitted to a nursing home, payments for these services help support the salaries of the employees at these facilities. And most of these employees are women. In fact, women comprise nearly 80% of the health sector workforce.
If you’ve been following the blogs of some of my colleagues who work on women’s economic security, you know that the recovery has been slow for women. Things are looking up, but right now women can’t afford to lose the health care they depend on and they can’t afford to lose more jobs. These new findings further reinforce what a vital program Medicaid is to women’s economic security and make a compelling case for protecting the program during fiscal cliff negotiations. Check out our new report Job Loss: The Hidden Cost of Medicaid Cuts to Women to find out how many health sector jobs Medicaid supports in your state.