As one of the poorest states in the U.S., Alabama ranks near the bottom on many measures of health and welfare expenditures. The Affordable Healthcare Act represents an opportunity for our state to make real and significant gains. The equalization of access to affordable insurance along with protection for the state’s poorest citizens through the Medicaid safety net brings universal healthcare a step closer to reality. This is why GBM is a staunch supporter of both the Affordable Healthcare Act and Medicaid expansion. GBM is helping to educate low-income residents about their choices under the Affordable Healthcare Act and, along with other voices in the community, has called on the Governor to draw down additional Medicaid dollars pursuant to the Act’s provisions. According to a 2013 report by the Kaiser Foundation, without Medicaid expansion, 36% (191,000) of Alabamians will remain ineligible for coverage under either program. Not only would Medicaid expansion close the gap in coverage, according to UAB’s Center for Business and Economic Research, it could be a boon to Alabama’s economy, leading to tens of thousands of new jobs.