News & Media

Faith leaders urge governors to support Medicaid expansion

PICO National Network

July 12, 2012


July 13, 2012


Contact: Gordon Whitman, PICO Policy Director,
gwhitman@piconetwork.org, 202-427-2992     


Faith leaders urge governors to support Medicaid expansion

Clergy leaders in nine states press for health coverage for working families


Washington, D.C. – Now that the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the Supreme Court, PICO National Network faith leaders are pressing states to extend the protections and benefits of health coverage to lower-income families through fully participating in Medicaid expansion.

 This week, clergy leaders in nine key states are delivering letters in support of Medicaid expansion to the governors of Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Kansas, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Alabama.

 “Our shared religious traditions teach us that our common priority must be to care for the poor and vulnerable,” clergy leaders said in the letters. “We are called to stand in the breach and advocate for those whose voices have been diminished. We believe that our state must help protect the health of those who are in need, especially struggling families, the elderly, and the disabled.”

 In Missouri, clergy from across the state marched to the Capitol to hand deliver their letter to Governor Jay Nixon’s office and to state legislative leaders. “We are asking the Governor and the Legislature to stand with the 30,000 Missourians who really need affordable health coverage through Medicaid,” said the Rev. Jennifer Thomas, a member of Missouri Faith Voices.

 The federal government will provide 100 percent of the cost of the Medicaid expansion during the first three years, and 90 percent of the new Medicaid costs after that.  The tax revenue resulting from this federal investment in states’ health-care systems will more than cover the states’ financial contributions.  This is truly a win-win for states and working families.

 Clergy from PICO pledged to work with hospitals, health-care providers and small business groups to stop Florida Governor Rick Scott, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and other governors opposed to the Affordable Care Act from putting their ideological views ahead of the health-care needs of their citizens.   


 PICO National Network is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. PICO works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 60 local and state federations.

PICO and its federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for office. PICO urges people of faith to consult their faith traditions for guidance on specific policies and legislation. Learn more at www.piconetwork.org.