Join the NC NAACP and other coalition partners for the 13th Annual HKonJ (Historic Thousands on Jones Street) People’s Assembly Moral March on Raleigh on Saturday, February 9th in Downtown Raleigh. Read more here.
Thanks to the stubborn Republican leadership at the NC General Assembly, NC has yet to join the 37 states that have approved Medicaid expansion since 2012, leaving us with the 10th highest rate of uninsured people in the country. As a result, more than half a million North Carolinians lack health insurance, many of them self-employed, veterans, or working for small businesses that don't provide health insurance or in low income, seasonal, temporary or part-time jobs. Folks in this "coverage gap" make too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid and not enough to qualify for Marketplace subsidies or pay the full cost of health insurance. Medicaid expansion would cover these people, and the federal government would pay 90% of the cost. Currently, Medicaid covers about two in five North Carolina children, but it's only available to adults who are elderly, blind, pregnant, living with a Social Security-certified disability, or living with dependent children.
In addition to improving the health of our fellow citizens (and keeping them working and paying taxes!), Medicaid expansion would help address the opioid crisis, increase jobs and help keep rural hospitals that depend heavily on Medicaid reimbursment open and serving their communities. Opponents cite the cost of expansion, but without accounting for the savings to hospitals and health care providers (currently unreimbursed for serving uninsured people), which are eventually passed along to the rest of us via our own health insurance premiums.
NCGA Democrats began the 2019 legislative session by introducing "clean" Medicaid expansion bills in both chambers. Gov Cooper has said he will not let the session close without Medicaid expansion. A majority of voters cite health care as their top priority. This is the time to pressure our legislators to support Medicaid expansion for the health and economy of our state!
HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Contact your NC state senator and representative to tell them you support clean Medicaid expansion, without a work requirement or mandatory copay. Subject line: Support Clean Medicaid Expansion. Share a personal story of someone in your community who is affected by this or a rural hospital that is at risk of closing. Copy Senator Berger (Phil.Berger@ncleg.net) and Speaker Moore (Tim.Moore@ncleg.net). Do this ESPECIALLY if you are represented by Republicans! Some of them are on the fence, and hearing from consituents can push them towards support. If you're represented by Democrats, thank them for supporting the bills they're sponsoring!
- See talking points to use and opportunities to get involved with the League of Women Voters Health Care Action team.
- Sign this Progress NC petition.
- Register to attend Medicaid Expansion Advocacy Day at the NCGA on Feb 27, share this link.
- Keep up with news about NC Medicaid expansion and national Improved Medicare for All by liking the Coalition for Health Care of NC's Facebook page.
- The political context of Medicaid expansion, NC Health News
- Democrats, Cooper push for Medicaid expansion, Carolina Journal
- THE issue of the 2019 session, NC Policy Watch
- Profiling NC's Uninsured: How expanding Medicaid can make a difference, NC Justice Center.
We can make this happen in 2019 for the good of our state!