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“The Time is NOW”: Calls To Expand Medicaid Grow As Rural Hospital Closures Plague North Carolina
Today, the Editorial Board of WRAL called fervently on Republican opponents of Medicaid expansion to “save N.C.’s rural hospitals” and engage in “sincere and honest negotiations with the governor” who has been a staunch supporter. The editorial cites poll after poll which show “overwhelming support” for Gov. Roy Cooper’s position. Just last week, a new poll showed that nearly sixty percent of North Carolinians believe Medicaid should be expanded.
Seven rural hospitals have closed since 2010 and the Chartis Center for Rural Health has deemed this a “closure crisis.” WRAL cites a direct link between Medicaid expansion and rural hospital closures, in fact “rural hospitals in Medicaid expansion states are 62 percent LESS likely to close”.
Republican gubernatorial candidate, Dan Forest, is acting against the interests of North Carolina by opposing Medicaid expansion.
“The opposition to Medicaid expansion in North Carolina flies in the face of reason, the will of the people, and human decency,” said DGA National Press Secretary Jerusalem Demsas. “Dan Forest and the Republicans in the General Assembly are wasting North Carolina tax dollars in a petty political fight that has left hundreds of thousands of people without adequate and affordable care.”
Here are the facts laid out in the editorial. Since 2014, because the legislature has failed to expand Medicaid:
- 162,200 diabetics have gone without their medication.
- 72,300 annual mammograms have been missed.
- 4,800 to 6,500 people have died for lack of access to medical care.
- $13.4 billion in federal funds have been lost to the state.
- 77,600 jobs haven’t been created. Over the next three years, expanding Medicaid would create another 37,000 jobs and add $11.7 billion into the state’s economy
Read the full editorial from WRAL here.