ACPP news releases
ACPP executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Tuesday, March 15, 2016, after the Alabama House passed a General Fund budget that would force deep Medicaid cuts:
“These Medicaid cuts would be devastating for Alabamians, our economy and our entire health care system. They could force many rural hospitals to close and prompt many pediatricians to leave the state. They would end coverage of essential services like outpatient dialysis and adult eyeglasses. And they would end promising new Medicaid reforms that would save money and keep people healthier.
“We simply can’t afford these Medicaid cuts. It’s wrong to put health care at risk for children, seniors, and people with disabilities in Alabama. It’s time to get serious about raising the revenue needed to invest in a healthier Alabama for all.”
ACPP executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, after the Alabama Senate passed a General Fund budget that could force deep cuts to Medicaid:
“Medicaid is the foundation of Alabama’s entire health care system, and it’s essential to protect it. Our state has gotten federal approval for promising new Medicaid reforms to save money and keep Alabamians healthier. Now we need to invest in these reforms to make them work.
“Medicaid insures many of the most vulnerable Alabamians: children, seniors, and people with disabilities. As the budget debate goes forward, we hope lawmakers will be careful not to send patients a message that their basic health care could be at risk. Considering how important Medicaid is to the health of our neighbors and our economy, we need to approach this debate with the urgency and gravity it deserves.”
ACPP executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, after an Alabama Senate committee approved a 2017 General Fund budget:
“We’re disturbed to see Medicaid on the chopping block again, but it was encouraging today to hear senators acknowledge Medicaid’s fundamental role in Alabama’s health care system. There is no way to cut Medicaid without devastating consequences, and ultimately it needs new revenue. As the General Fund debate goes on, we hope lawmakers will take to heart the crucial role that Medicaid plays in the health of Alabamians and our economy.”
Alabama ranks second worst in the country in state K-12 education funding cuts, with state formula support down 17.3 percent since the start of the Great Recession, according to a report released Thursday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonpartisan policy research organization based in Washington, D.C. Only Oklahoma has seen deeper per-student state funding cuts since 2008 than Alabama has. Overall, Alabama cut its total state and local investment in K-12 schools by 11.3 percent per student between 2008 and 2014, the seventh worst cut in the nation.
This erosion in education support could make it harder for workers to compete for highly skilled jobs in the global economy, said Kimble Forrister, executive director of Arise Citizens’ Policy Project (ACPP). Cutting education also could make it more difficult for communities to attract well-paying jobs and could deprive local businesses of a strong customer base, Forrister said.
"If we want a strong future for our state, we need to invest in it now," Forrister said. "Alabama must invest in our schools so our children and grandchildren can receive the education they need to succeed in life and help their families get ahead."
Alabama is leading its neighbors on an important aspect of childhood health: the uninsured rate for children. Alabama’s 2014 uninsured rate of 3.8 percent is the lowest in the Deep South, according to a new report by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families (CCF).
“Alabama is doing right by its kids,” said Kimble Forrister, executive director of Arise Citizens’ Policy Project. “When children have health coverage, they can get the care they need to show up for school ready to learn. Their families can take them to the doctor when they’re sick so they don’t wind up even sicker and in need of more expensive care in a hospital.”