A few months before the November election, the state legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory conveniently announced they, once staunch opponents of Medicaid expansion, were reconsidering their decision to deny affordable health coverage to 300,000 to 500,000 North Carolinians.
Since then, McCrory has not set a timetable for that discussion—the election is over, after all, with Republicans still in control. But since Dec. 15 was the deadline for uninsured to enroll in the Affordable Care Act, we looked into some data about health coverage in North Carolina.
The numbers on this page came from a 2012 census survey—more recent data from that agency has not yet been released—but they do give us a snapshot of the state of the insured and uninsured pre-Affordable Care Act.
One piece of data that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released is how Medicaid expansion has helped decrease the rate of adults who are uninsured.
The CDC survey reported that in states that opted for Medicaid expansion, the percentage of uninsured adults fell from 18.4 percent in 2013 to 15.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014.
There was no such decrease in the 22 states, including North Carolina, that have not expanded Medicaid.
Overall, the number of uninsured has fallen nationwide since the Affordable Care Act went into effect a year ago. Forty-one million U.S. residents remain uninsured but that's down by 3.8 million people, the lowest since 1997.
This article appeared in print with the headline "Who's uninsured?"