Even More Benefits From Expanding Medicaid NOW!

There is one thing that would significantly help North Carolinians in every part of the state – Medicaid expansion. Expanding Medicaid would be a huge win – providing more health care in every county, more health care jobs in every county, pump billions of federal money into the state, provide support for rural hospitals and people, and also bring ripple effect benefits to communities around the state.  As you may know, past Governor Pat McCrory signed away the governor’s ability to expand Medicaid as one of the first things he did in 2013, so the NC Legislature has control of that. There is more pressure for the NC Legislature to expand Medicaid since the federal pandemic relief bill from March 2021 contains even more great incentives to add on to all the other wins NC would get by expanding Medicaid. More at North Carolina Health News – https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2021/03/18/medicaid-expansion-incentives-pandemic-relief-bill/. The new American Rescue Plan includes “substantial incentives for states to expand Medicaid, as well as [providing] spending boosts to improve care for new moms, people with disabilities.”  Expanding Medicaid would inherently help more women (and their children/families), since more women fall into this working poor space.

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Women need the most direct help! 2/3 of people making minimum wage – in NC and the country – are women. Paying for health insurance is a huge burden for women and anyone making so little money – getting health insurance via Medicaid would provide major assistance. This would free up money for other necessities, and also make recipients healthier, and better able to work and take care of themselves and/or their families. As far as the ripple effect, that is the idea of the continuing and spreading results of an event or action. Basically the idea is – expanding Medicaid will bring more money to communities all over North Carolina, so it will directly create jobs for tens of thousands of people, but then all of those people will have more money to spend in their communities, and other people and businesses will also benefit.

A May article in Triangle Business Journal quantifies the economic benefits of expanding Medicaid. See https://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2021/05/03/medicaid-expansion-nc-state-budget-impact-kff.html

“Erica Palmer Smith, director of Care4Carolina, said the benefits would go beyond [$1.21 billion over two years and providing Medicaid insurance coverage to more than 500,000 more people. It would bring] $5 billion into the state every year to cover the federal share along with a decrease in uncompensated care costs at health care facilities when uninsured individuals are unable to pay for the cost of their care, leaving hospitals with bad debt.”

Governor Cooper is pushing for the expansion of Medicaid. At this time, the NC legislature is still stubbornly refusing to expand Medicaid. More at Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget puts Medicaid expansion back “on the table”. State Senator Mike Woodard discusses Expanding Medicaid and more in an interview with NC Policy Watch from April 19, 2021, find it here.

North Carolina is one of a dozen states in the South and Midwest that has yet to expand access to Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, hospitals are cutting services and closing.

Take Action:

Call the legislative leadership of NC and tell them to Expand Medicaid NOW! Find how to reach your representatives and legislative leaders at “Take Action on Medicaid Expansion” at https://northcarolinanow.wordpress.com/2020/05/12/take-action-on-medicaid-expansion/.

Here are some new points you can make:

We know Medicaid expansion is already a great deal for the South. Under this new Federal law (American Recovery Act), our states will see even more money when we expand, helping us recover in a time of economic recession.

[# of deaths/12,974 by 5/20/21] 12,594 Covid deaths by May 20, 2021 in North Carolina is unacceptable. We MUST #ExpandMedicaid for essential workers, women, communities of color, and uninsured families and children.

Expanding Medicaid in North Carolina will not only get thousands of uninsured people healthcare—generous provisions in the latest COVID #ReliefBill mean expansion will be a HUGE budget boost for North Carolina  #South4MedEx

The #AmericanRescuePlan has paved a clear way for our State leaders to say yes to extending coverage! #South4MedEx

The #AmericanRescuePlan has delivered over a BILLION reasons for #NCGA to finally #ExpandMedicaidNOW. #South4MedEx #CloseTheGapNC

Sources:

“The federal pandemic relief bill contains a big carrot to expand Medicaid. Will North Carolina bite?,” 3/18/21, North Carolina Health News, https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2021/03/18/medicaid-expansion-incentives-pandemic-relief-bill/

“Medicaid expansion in NC could mean $1.2 billon boost to state budget, report says,” Triangle Business Journal, 5/3/21, https://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2021/05/03/medicaid-expansion-nc-state-budget-impact-kff.html

“Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget puts Medicaid expansion back “on the table”,” NC Policy Watch, 3/30/21, http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2021/03/30/gov-roy-coopers-budget-puts-medicaid-expansion-back-on-the-table/

“Senator Mike Woodard discusses Medicaid expansion, voting rights, education funding and the GOP’s renewed effort to limit the rights of transgender people,” NC Policy Watch, 4/19/21, http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2021/04/19/senator-mike-woodard-discusses-medicaid-expansion-voting-rights-education-funding-and-the-gops-renewed-effort-to-limit-the-rights-of-transgender-people/

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