August 27, 2019

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Latest News, North Carolina

ICYMI: WRAL Chastises NC GOP’s Excuses For Delaying Medicaid Expansion As “Cruel” And “Phony”

WRAL Editorial Board: “End the excuses, stop the delays. Discuss and approve Medicaid expansion now.”

In case you missed it, WRAL’s Editorial Board chastised North Carolina Republicans for refusing to expand Medicaid, which would cover over 500,000 North Carolinians.

Gov. Roy Cooper proposed Medicaid expansion in his budget but for 50 days North Carolina Republicans have refused to offer a counterproposal. Their failure to act has cost taxpayers over a million dollars. But that pales in comparison to the $36 billion in federal dollars the NC GOP has left on the table for other states to use for their citizens’ health care.

Read how the NC GOP’s refusal to act is hurting North Carolina:

WRAL: Editorial: Expand Medicaid, spare us the song and dance

Senate leader Phil Berger and his partner House Speaker Tim Moore have hatched a scheme to work their will with the state budget. They are taking Johnny Cash’s advice to build it “one piece at a time.”

If they want to get it all through with little dissent, the first item needs to be expanding Medicaid. They’ll find much of the rest, a breeze to put together.

But the unfortunate reality is that Berger and Moore will do almost anything to avoid confronting the issue that demands their immediate attention.

They’d rather have rank-and-file legislators twiddle their $42,000-a-day thumbs or jet off to conferences – than discuss expanding Medicaid coverage to more than a half-million working North Carolinians whose families today lack health coverage.

They’ll dodge and procrastinate.

[…]

They’ll come up with nickel-and-dime tax rebate schemes as a diversion.

They’ll look to expand their pet early-grades reading program that has been found to be costly, ineffective and mired in legal wrangling.

But they won’t take up the business at hand. They’ll twist the facts and look to distract North Carolinians. They’ll blame their inaction on the governor. They’ll make it a partisan issue and blame legislative Democrats.

But it is clear that without engaging in political slight-of-hand, the House of Representatives has the votes needed to sustain Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of their budget.

The reasons for their refusal to expand Medicaid have been lame and phony. They aren’t worth repeating.

It is not an understatement to say the delay has been cruel.

Here are some of the facts:

  • An overwhelming majority of North Carolinians back Medicaid expansion – 68 percent according to the Meredith College poll.
  • Just last week it was reported that expanding Medicaid has helped states combat the opioid epidemic.
  • North Carolinians have left $36.1 billion in federal tax dollars untapped that otherwise would have been spent expanding Medicaid here.
  • Over the next three years, expanding Medicaid would create more than 37,000 new jobs and add $11.7 billion into the state’s economy — money that could be used for education, infrastructure and other needs.

End the excuses, stop the delays. Discuss and approve Medicaid expansion now.