North Carolina is home to one of the largest uninsured populations in the country. The latest Census data indicates that of the more than one million people in North Carolina living without health insurance, many are employed workers.
These individuals do not receive coverage through their workplace for a variety of reasons, from being small businesses workers or entrepreneurs to working part-time or in seasonal and temporary positions. The uninsured population also includes large numbers of adults with disabilities, veterans and their family members, and people with substance and behavioral health disorders.
New analysis from the left-leaning North Carolina Justice Center argues that Medicaid expansion would drastically reduce the number of uninsured North Carolinians and bring significant health and economic benefits to the state. North Carolina is among 14 states who have not expanded Medicaid since the Affordable Care Act made it possible in 2012, and this has created a substantial coverage gap. Hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but earn too little to get financial assistance through the private market. Earlier this week Democratic state lawmakers introduced new Medicaid expansion legislation, but bipartisan support remains uncertain. Host Frank Stasio talks with Brendan Riley, a health policy analyst with the North Carolina Justice Center, about his new analysis: “Profiling North Carolina’s Uninsured: How Expanding Medicaid Can Make a Difference.”