Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) position statement: SBM urges Congress to preserve and extend funding for Medicaid services

Pamela Behrman, Jill Demirci, Betina R Yanez, Nisha Beharie, Helena Laroche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In May 2017, the Trump administration proposed steep cuts to Medicaid funding. This proposal was met with bipartisan criticism, as this program provides vital healthcare coverage for vulnerable children, adults, and families, including those living below the federal poverty line. In addition to the proposed funding cuts, federally authorized state restrictions to Medicaid access (e.g., work requirements) have been proposed, putting the Medicaid coverage of scores of enrollees at risk. Overwhelming health costs from inadequate or absent insurance are found to contribute to financial problems, including bankruptcy. Financial strain, in turn, is related to serious and life-threatening health problems in both children and adults. Given these impacts, the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) urges Congress to protect and extend Medicaid funding. To maintain subscriber access, SBM recommends that Congress continue to use percentage rather than block funding determinants and eliminate states' authority to enforce program qualification requirements, including work provisions and stipulations for locking out subscribers who do not pay their premiums on time. It is also recommended that Congress increase and improve the scope and quality of reporting Medicaid's evidence base. This could be achieved through regular evaluations, focusing on Medicaid's impact on the health and economic well-being of its participants. SBM further recommends efforts to increase the public's awareness of and participation in Medicaid for eligible individuals, children, and families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-178
Number of pages4
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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