State lawmakers have formed a new committee to study the impact Medicaid expansion could have on health issues in the state such as nursing shortages, struggling rural hospitals and surprise billing.
When a thousand people die each year due to the state’s decision to not expand Medicaid, maybe a committee doesn’t feel like much– but its an opening we can’t not engage with.
The committee was formed after the NCGA failed to include Medicaid Expansion in the budget last year and is a promising signifier that our elected officials are ready to move on this important legislation. North Carolinians overwhelmingly support Medicaid expansion, including Republican votes who support expansion with more than a two to one margin.
500,000 low-income adults could have access to Medicaid if North Carolina would join 38 other states and expand the program as the Affordable Care Act has allowed since 2013. North Carolina is one of 12 states that has not taken up the opportunity to provide this critical healthcare to our residents.
Expanding Medicaid is not only the ethical responsibility of our elected officials, it’s the fiscally responsible thing to do. The US federal government subsidizes 90 percent of the cost for adults enrolled through the ACA expansion. Furthermore, The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides additional financial incentive, allowing North Carolina to temporarily draw down additional federal funds.
It is estimated that North Carolina could get an additional $1.5 billion to $2 billion in additional federal funding if we expanded Medicaid now. This is a win-win opportunity we simply can’t miss.
Failing to expand Medicaid leaves money on the table– and the lives of our neighbors at risk.