Catholic Health Association and Catholic Charities Leaders Highlight Need to Support Safety Net for those Living in Poverty

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September 13, 2023

Contact: Brian Reardon

WASHINGTON —The 2022 U.S. poverty data provides a telling reminder of the work that must still be done if we are to build a society and a country in which all people are able to meet their most basic needs, have dignified work, and provide health insurance for their families. Last year, while the official poverty measure remained flat, the supplemental poverty measure saw poverty rise by 4.6%, median incomes decrease by 2.2%, and child poverty increase from 5.2% in 2021 — an all-time low — to 12.4% last year (the largest single-year increase since 2010).

These numbers and the direct impact of ending programs that support low-income and working families remind us that we must work urgently if we are to avoid a similarly devastating increase in poverty and uninsured rates in future years. 

Millions of Americans are currently losing access to Medicaid coverage as a result of the reimplementation of the Medicaid redeterminations process. Elected leaders at both the state and federal level must prioritize making the process for reenrolling in Medicaid efficient and easy to manage for those who rely on this critical health care coverage,” said Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA).  Earlier this year, CHA launched a public awareness campaign, Protect What’s Precious, that provides patients with straightforward information about how to ensure they keep their Medicaid coverage. Information and resources about the campaign can be found at CHA’s  Medicaid Makes it Possible website.

“Living the mandate of the Gospel, the Catholic Charities ministries work each day to stand in radical solidarity with those in need. This report is a reminder that we can’t do it alone and that just and humane public policies that support children, families, and vulnerable communities are critically important,” said Kerry Alys Robinson, president and CEO of Catholic Charites USA.

While these numbers are sobering, we must remember that they represent more than just statistics but rather the lives and aspirations of millions of Americans. The rise in supplemental poverty rates and the increase in child poverty is tied largely to the political decision to end pandemic-era support programs such as the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and other stimulus payments.  Supporting policies that uplift families and expand access to affordable health care coverage are two efforts policymakers and people of goodwill can take to ensure a better tomorrow for millions..

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The Catholic Health Association of the United States is the national leadership organization of the Catholic health ministry, representing the largest nonprofit provider of health care services in the nation.

  • 1 in 7 patients in the U.S. is cared for in a Catholic hospital each day.
  • Catholic health care, which includes more than 2,200 hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, systems, sponsors, and related organizations, serves the full continuum of health care across our nation.

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