N.C. Democrats file bill to expand Medicaid | News

N.C. Democrats file bill to expand Medicaid

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On Tuesday, Democrats in the state House and Senate filed a bill to expand Medicaid coverage to more than 500,000 uninsured North Carolinians.

At a press conference, Buncombe County Sen. Terry van Duyn and Reps. Gale Adcock, Wake, and Carla Cunningham, Mecklenburg, emphasized the economic benefits to the state of Medicaid expansion.

The $2 billion in tax dollars that would come to North Carolina with Medicaid expansion would create 43,000 jobs by 2020, according to a recent report by Cone Health Foundation and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. The report estimates that Medicaid expansion would bring in more than $860 million in additional state revenue and more than $160 million in county tax revenue.

“This is about brining jobs to the state and giving both rural and urban hospitals the resources they need to be successful,” Van Duyn said in a statement. “Expanding Medicaid is common sense policy, both for the health of our community and for the economic well-being of this state as a whole.”

“There is a human toll when people can’t access preventative or primary care,” said Adcock, a nurse practitioner. “But we are also hurting our economy, our local businesses and our hospitals by leaving our tax dollars in Washington.”

Advocates for Medicaid expansion delivered 35,000 petition signatures to Gov. McCrory’s office Tuesday morning urging him to pressure Republican leaders in the Legislature to expand Medicaid. The Governor met with President Obama in January to discuss options for a “Medicaid waiver” for North Carolina and has hinted that he supports Medicaid expansion on GOP terms.

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