Take actions on up to 4 issues. In fact, for each issue, you can write your representative, write a letter to the editor, or both!
Senate Bill 35 has passed the House and has been placed on the Senate calendar for final approval on August 16. This bill raises the marriage age to 16 under all circum-stances, including pregnancy, requires parental consent for marriage at age 16 or 17, and further requires that there must be no more than a 4-year age difference between the parties to allow marriage under age 18. The bill is expected to pass. Currently, children as young as 14 can marry in this state, a situation that has made North Carolina a go-to state for child marriages. Last year, for example, two-thirds of marriage license applications in Buncombe County, a county that includes Asheville, were from out-of staters seeking to marry underage partners. We are finally ready to close the book on that ugly chapter. Also talking about state budget, Governor Cooper’s priorities, and how state budget defectors take leverage away from the governor.
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.
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. FindContinue reading “More Letters on Need for Medicaid Expansion”
We Must Expand Medicaid! Read about why, and take action here.
The pandemic is exposing people and institutions who were barely getting by and now will fail with insufficient assistance. Rural hospitals were already doing badly, and now are doing worse. Yet, the NC legislature continues to refuse the gift of Medicaid Expansion which would alleviate health and economic problems across in every county if implemented fully.
Rural hospitals are cutting services and even worse, closing. Billions of dollars meant to support health care in NC have been sent to other states, to those states smart enough to take advantage of great deal to expand Medicaid. The NCGA leadership needs to stop hurting NC’s people and economy. Expand Medicaid NOW! The Coronavirus is exposing how close to the edge many people live.
The fireworks over the House vote to override the budget veto continue. Updates on the new legislative district maps. New lawsuit against unfair Congressional district maps (in light of lies exposed and other lawsuit). Movement on Medicaid expansion, but includes severe restrictions. and bill was not done with bipartisan input.
There has been movement on both the budget and Medicaid transformation. To get around the impasse over the vetoed budget, the legislature has passed a slew of stand-alone budget bills addressing specific areas. We share a Facebook post from one of our NC Senators that exposes the Republican strategy for preventing Democrats from amending a bill. This is almost unbelievable. In other big news, Governor Cooper vetoed House Bill 555, Medicaid Transformation Implementation that would change Medicaid from fee-for-service to managed care. Medicaid transformation is contained in the budget the Governor vetoed, but this stand-alone bill is one of the piecemeal budget bills passed by the legislature.
Stories are powerful. Filmmaker Rebecca Cerese captured stories from people around the state who are caught in the health care coverage gap. She shared some stories on film and some she told. One of Rebecca’s storytellers came in person and her story of her daughter was heartbreaking.