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November 9, 2018 | Volume 22, No. 10 | Archives
Mid-Term Election Roundup
The Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) community is heartened to see expansions in health care and civil rights as a result of the mid-term elections, as well as an increase in the diversity of people representing us in our government. Voting for people and ballot initiatives that best serve the HCH community is critical to ending homelessness, and expanding programs such as Medicaid is shown to continue the positive cycle by increasing voter turnout.
The National HCH Council remains steadfast in our advocacy for housing and health care as human rights, and we look forward to working with Congressional leaders to ensure a more fair and just society. The following areas are of particular note:
The tenor of Congress has shifted, with Democrats now controlling the House of Representatives (gaining 24 seats overall) and the Senate remaining under Republican control (gaining 3 seats). As a result, we may see new efforts to alter the future of health care and housingBefore 2018 ends, Congress will work in the “lame duck” to pass high-priority and potentially controversial legislation which includes a final spending bill (with HUD/housing funding not yet finalized), a farm bill which includes 5 years of SNAP/food stamp funding, a wall along the Mexican border, and more.
A great diversity of candidates were elected across the country, including historic wins for many women of color. Congressional winners include the first two female members who are Muslim, the first Native-American woman, and the first Korean-American member of Congress. Nationwide, women were elected to Governorships and other state and local offices in record numbers. Many of the over 400 LGBTQ candidates on the ballots also found victory, with now at least eight new LGBTQ members of Congress.
Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah approved ballot measures to expand Medicaid to single, low-income adults—making approximately 300,000 people newly eligible for health insurance. Unfortunately, Montana’s ballot initiative (which would have extended its expansion) did not pass, and the future of coverage is uncertain there. Democratic gubernatorial wins in Kansas, Wisconsin, and Maine will likely bring Medicaid expansion back to the table. Democrats in Florida and Texas failed to achieve a gubernatorial win (and as of this writing, Georgia’s gubernatorial race is still undetermined), which will likely keep Medicaid expansion off the table for these long-opposed states.
Interested in health insurance rates for HCH programs in your state? Check out our new fact sheet.
Other Ballot Initiatives
Aside from Medicaid expansion, a range of issues were on the ballot from gun control to legislative redistricting that brought historic wins and losses. Two states, Arkansas and Missouri, voted to increase the minimum wageMany states passed initiatives on voter rights and redistricting; most notably, Florida restored voting rights to over one million individuals previously convicted of a felony. However, in North Carolina and Arkansas, people will now require a valid photo ID to cast absentee and in-person ballots. These are among many other ballot initiatives that make our journey towards justice an uneven one.
Listen to Our Podcast 
The Council’s new “Poverty Policy Podcast” released its second episode featuring an interview with Wendy Cervantes, Senior Immigration Policy Analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy. Listen to our podcast to learn how immigration and poverty are connected—and what you can do about it. Let us know what you think of this new feature!
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Regina Reed, MPH
National Health Policy Organizer
National HCH Council
Baltimore, MD
(443) 703-1337 
Comment on the Dangerous Public Charge Rule
Last month’s Mobilizer covered the proposed rule on “public charge,” which would add many safety-net programs to the list of negative factors the Dept. of Homeland Security uses to determine entry to the U.S. or approval for legal residence. It’s crucial that members of the  HCH community submit comments by the December 10th deadline. Individuals and organizations can submit comments directly or via the advocacy coalition Protecting Immigrant Families.
Send Your Comments
Use Our Letter
Read the Council’s comment letter and use it as a template for your own letter to the administration, adding any data or personal stories you feel important to share. Care for the Homeless in New York has also developed resources and a template for comments. Your letter does not have to be long or detailed—simply stating your opposition is enough.
View Our Letter
More Resources 
For a different approach and more talking points for writing a letter, view template letters from the National Association of Community Health Centers (under “Health Center Comment Period Resources”) and the Food Research & Action Center. You can learn more from our partners on issues specific to Medicaid, health centers, food stamps, and housing assistance and on the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign website.
Learn More
This publication and all HCH advocacy are funded by dues from Organizational Members of the Council and by private donations. Consider joining the Council to support this work.
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National Heatlh Care for the Homeless Council
PO Box 60427 | Nashville, TN 37206 US
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