Several organizations have joined forces with the Alabama Hospital Association to promote expanded health care access for Alabamians who don’t currently qualify for Medicaid. The new coalition, Alabama’s Better Economy Starts Today (Alabama’s BEST), is advocating for the expansion of health coverage by allowing more residents to participate in Medicaid or by developing an Alabama-driven alternative to expanded access. Recent studies underscore the importance of the effort for the health of the community and economy, showing that expanded coverage in Alabama would provide access for 300,000 residents and create 30,000 new jobs. In a separate report last week, the Commonwealth Fund found that states choosing not to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will forgo billions of dollars in federal funds while their residents contribute to the cost of the expansion in other states. For more on the Alabama initiative, visit www.alabamasbest.org.