NC NOW is capturing some articles on the need for Medicaid expansion here. This is not an extensive list, since NC has refused to expand Medicaid for over 10 years. Since the state legislature again refused to expand Medicaid during a session that began April 28, 2020, there has been another set of articles. Find an op-ed on the need for Medicaid Expansion, written by NC NOW’s state president, at “Legislature Refuses Gift of Medicaid Expansion Again – 5/5/20,” at https://wp.me/p22b2e-2CU. The News and Observer picked it up, but shortened it – under the heading of Expanding Medicaid for coronavirus patients only leaves too many still at risk in NC, 5/5/20. The shortened version ran in the N&O, Durham Herald/Sun and probably in the Charlotte Observer (verifying last one). The Fayetteville Observer ran the whole op-ed, adding a few words and phrases for emphasis. Find it at State Legislature Refuses Gift of Medicaid Expansion – Again.
There is another LTE in the N&O set by a fast-food worker at Freddy’s, Jamila Allen, and what would happen to her if she got Covid-19, in “The Next Stimulus,” 5/5/20. She also mentions the harsher impact on people of color. The dire situation she describes is related also to need for healthcare coverage.
An earlier op-ed out of Asheville discusses 3 things NC needs to save us from the pandemic, including expanded Medicaid and resurrecting NC’s Unemployment Insurance program. Find it at “3 things NC must do right now to save us from the COVID-19 pandemic,” 4/8/20, Citizen-Times.
In June of 2019, before the pandemic, this article explored the prospects of a failed hospital in Rockingham County that was taken over by the UNC system in “UNC Rockingham Health Care has strong vitals, but will failure of Medicaid expansion leave it strapped?” According to that article, “UNC bought the 700-employee rural hospital’s assets in January 2018 for $11.5 million after the facility declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.” Last year, the article said “expansion advocates forecast hospitals in Rockingham County and the state’s 79 other rural counties will feel acutely the burden of debt from those uninsured.” Since the pandemic close all of our hospitals to normal business, another hospital in Rockingham County is filing for bankruptcy.
Professor Gene Nichol wrote another direct and brilliant editorial, “Nichol: Coronavirus intensifies NC Republican policies that punish the poor,” 5/5/20. Professor Nichol captures how much worse things are with coronavirus, “We marry unemployment woes and health care miseries, leaving multitudes to face a brutal plague without compensation or care.”
Another coronavirus hotspot is food processing plants. If you’re concerned about worker safety in food processing plants, see the full letter that was addressed to Governor Cooper at “Worker Safety in Food Processing Plants.” A shortened version of their LTE ran with others on 5/5/20 in the N&O.
Here is another op-ed from the News and Observer from 7/24/19. Still true, but now it’s more than 10 years that our money has been benefiting other states, those that expanded Medicaid.
When the 2019 state budget emerged out of a conference between the Senate and House did not include money for Medicaid expansion, the Fayetteville Observer wrote, “Our View: It’s past time to expand Medicaid – lives are at stake.” A few weeks early, Dr. Naveed Aziz had written a heart wrenching article about a patient who could’t afford care and was waiting to qualify for Medicare at 65, and other benefits that Medicaid expansion would provide.
We can help lift up these points by reading them, liking posts with them, sharing via email and/or social media. And writing our representatives and Senator Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore to do the right thing. Go to Take Action on Medicaid Expansion.
Please tell NC NOW about any articles you get published on Medicaid, health care, abortion, domestic violence, or other women’s issues, so we can share them as well. We want to lift our voices up and push for our representatives to do the right thing.