Medicaid Expansion

Warren County, Community Health, Medicaid
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

People seeking health care in rural Warren County have waited a long time for good news. Now they're celebrating.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Expanding Medicaid eligibility to cover more low income North Carolinians could lead to 37,000 new jobs in the state. That's the projection from a George Washington University professor who produced a report earlier this year on the potential economic benefits of Gov. Roy Cooper's proposal. Dr. Leighton Ku shares his message for lawmakers on this edition of the politics podcast. 


North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina Democrats at the legislature are trying to build momentum to expand Medicaid to more low-income residents now that some House Republicans recently revived the idea.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

North Carolina legislators completed their court-ordered redistricting this week. Lawmakers were working on a swift turnaround and, for more transparency, the mapping sessions were livestreamed. The process drew criticism and praise. Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch discuss the meaning of "independent" redistricting and whether anything has changed with lawmakers' return to consideration of Medicaid expansion. 
 


Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

A bill in the state House would expand Medicaid coverage to more low-income people, though it would include work requirements and premiums, provisions opposed by Governor Roy Cooper and fellow Democrats.

Still, a group of Democratic representatives held a news conference Tuesday to urge House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) to allow a debate and vote on the measure to proceed.

Tayloe estimates that about thirty or forty percent of patients at the Coastal Children's Clinic in New Bern are on Medicaid. And research from the Brookings Institute shows that 48 percent of kids from low-income families are ready for kindergarten, comp
Lisa Philip / WUNC

A new study found that expanding Medicaid in North Carolina would not only provide health insurance to 634,000 people, it would also create some 37,000 new jobs and increase business activity by close to $12 billion.

The figures come from researchers at The George Washington University with funding from Cone Health Foundation and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.

Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

A Republican-backed bill in the state House aims to close North Carolina's coverage gap, but at no cost to the state.

Medicaid expansion states show larger declines in the uninsured, 2013-2017
Kaiser Family Foundation

Some North Carolina House Republicans are expected to pitch again their idea to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of uninsured people through the 2010 federal health care law.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper sits for an interview with WUNC in the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Cooper addressed the opiod crisis affecting the state.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper on Monday said expanding educational opportunities and access to health insurance are key strategies to bridge the divide between the state's rural and urban communities.

A table showing that North Carolina's uninsured rate is higher than the average U.S. rate.
North Carolina Justice Center

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. 

Georgetown University Health Policy Institute

Four-thousand more children in North Carolina went uninsured in 2017 than in the previous year. That's as the number of children around the country without health insurance went up for the first time in a decade, according to a recent analysis from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.

photo of a doctor
www.maxpixel.net/Doctor-Medicine-Health-Stetoscope-Medical-563428

In 2014, former President Barack Obama’s health care law gave states the option to expand Medicaid. North Carolina was among 18 states who chose not to expand the program. At the time, many officials in those states expressed concern over how much expansion would cost.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Just as a new Republican-led Congress on Capitol Hill is discussing how to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, North Carolina's newly elected governor pledged to implement portions of the ACA that had been left behind in this state.

Latino child
Lillian Zepeda / Flickr Creative Commons

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped close the health insurance gap for North Carolina's Latino children, according to a national report.

A picture of a dctor holding a stethoscope.
Alex Proimos / Flickr

North Carolina lawmakers have chosen to not expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act.

Republican state leaders, including Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, have said that, even if the federal government initially subsidizes new people enrolling in Medicaid, the program would eventually cost the state more than it saves.

Medicaid reform is at the forefront of the state's legislative agenda this session, but legislators are still debating how to design the reform. 

The Senate wants to privatize administration and let commercial insurance companies control the market while the House and Governor McCrory want state health care providers to be in charge. A new report from Wake Forest University argues for a hybrid strategy.

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper
N.C. Democratic Party

Attorney General Roy Cooper says he'll continue to criticize Republican policies during the legislative session that begins Wednesday, hinting once again hinting that he might run for governor in 2016.  
 

At a luncheon held by the women’s group Lillian's List, Cooper told a few hundred Democrats that he supports issues such as abortion rights and expanding Medicaid in North Carolina.

He hasn't announced his candidacy for governor, but he’s widely seen as the most likely Democrat to try to unseat Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

The head of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is speaking out in support of expanding Medicaid in the state.

Brad Wilson is President and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

“As business leaders of North Carolina, you need to help us craft a solution to expand Medicaid," said Wilson.

Wilson tossed out that charge during this week’s Economic Forecast Forum in Research Triangle Park, sponsored by the North Carolina Bankers Association and the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce. 

Ralf Heb / Flickr/Creative Commons

In recent months, Governor Pat McCrory has said he’s considering proposing expansion of the state’s Medicaid program, which would allow more low-income people here to receive health care. Back in 2012, the General Assembly passed a bill blocking expansion and the formation of a state health exchange. The governor signed it into law. But now, many other Republican-led states are moving forward with enlarging eligibility for the program. Yet Republican leaders don’t have a consensus on what to do here.

Photo: Rep. Tim Moore and NC House GOP Leadership
Jorge Valencia

North Carolina Republicans have nominated a new State House Speaker to succeed U.S. Senator-elect Thom Tillis. Tim Moore is an attorney and small business owner from Kings Mountain, a small town about 30 miles west of Charlotte. He's been in the House for six terms.

The Republicans in the House of Representatives chose Moore in a closed-door meeting. They locked themselves in a conference room at Randolph Community College. Moore needed at least half the votes plus one to win, and that was exactly what he got.

Image of tools in doctor's office
Morgan / Flickr/Creative Commons

State health secretary Aldona Wos says North Carolina would likely need to change some of its Medicaid rules to expand the program under the Affordable Care Act. 

The health care law offered to pay for expanded Medicaid through 2016, but North Carolina was one of 24 states that rejected the expansion last year.  Gov. Pat McCrory said the state's Medicaid program was broken, and was not confident the federal government would cover the costs. 

But Wos says Medicaid is now more stable, and she plans to present the governor with options for expanding Medicaid. 

Aldona Vos, DHHS
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

    

North Carolina’s Medicaid program covers 1.7 million people at a cost of $14 billion per year.

The program for low-income and disabled residents has had a turbulent past. Last year, computer glitches created a long backlog of applications and payments for providers. And Medicaid has been a question mark in the budget, causing cost overruns for several years.

But health officials say the system is improving enough that the state could reconsider expanding Medicaid to half a million people who do not have health insurance.

A picture of Belhaven Mayor Adam O'Neal
StoryofAmerica.org

Belhaven Mayor Adam O'Neill says he's optimistic that the hospital in his town will reopen soon.

The non-profit Vidant Health closed the Pungo hospital there this summer, which served low-income and minority populations. 

Mayor O'Neill walked nearly 300 miles to Washington, D.C. to ask regulators to look into the closure.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has agreed to investigate whether Vidant's closing of the hospital has displayed unlawful discrimination based on race and national origin.

North Carolina will be missing out on $51 billion from Mediciad because they chose not to expand coverage.
http://eofdreams.com/money.html

    

Lawmakers in North Carolina decided to not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. 

Protesters crowd the capitol for a Moral Mondays protest.
Matthew Lenard

Thousands of people are expected to march in downtown Raleigh on Saturday, some coming in buses from other states, to call on North Carolina legislators to reverse laws they’ve signed over the last year including requiring voters to show IDs in polling stations, reducing unemployment benefits and blocking Medicaid expansion.

Community Care of North Carolina

North Carolina is enrolling more uninsured people than any other state that refused to set up its own health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

Health care policy director Adam Searing of the NC Justice Center says the state-run Medicaid system, Community Care, has made a big difference.

The state has encouraged social and health services to cooperate to provide Medicaid patients solid care up front, and now friends and family members who don't qualify for Medicaid have affordable options and guidance for enrolling in private healthcare.

Photo: The Rev. William Barber outside the North Carolina State Capitol building.
Jorge Valencia

A judge gave permission Monday to a group that’s been protesting new North Carolina laws to rally on the grounds of the state Capitol building.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour’s decision reversed denial of a permit  earlier this month.  It served as a preamble for the new year of protests, that have become known as Moral Monday, against the Republican-controlled state legislature.

Just hours after the decision, the Rev. William Barber, one of the key Moral Monday organizers, spoke to dozens of people on a courtyard outside the Capitol, mapping out 2014.

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory has again defended North Carolina's new voting law during a talk at a leading conservative think tank. 

McCrory spoke at an event Monday hosted by the Heritage Foundation in Washington.  He stood behind the state's new voting rules, which require a photo ID at the polls, pointing out that 32 other states have similar laws.  He also criticized attorney general Roy Cooper for speaking out against the law.

State Senate chamber
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Lawmakers in the State Senate have presented a $20.6 billion budget proposal. It would spend slightly less than Governor McCrory’s plan and offers no raises for state employees.  The plan would also increase state Medicaid spending by about $300 million and make big changes to the State Bureau of Investigation.
 
Republican budget writer Senator Pete Brunstetter told reporters earlier today that he knows this is a tough budget plan. He says its purpose is to make sure the state lives within its means.

North Carolina legislative building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State lawmakers in the House have passed a bill that would block an expansion of North Carolina's Medicaid program. It passed on third reading Thursday. Republican lawmakers are opposed to enlarging Medicaid to help cover about 500,000 uninsured residents under the Affordable Care Act. Representative John Blust says the state would end up covering too many costs.

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