Gov. McCrory's Failure to Close the Coverage Gap is Hurting Working NCians
The refusal of politicians in Raleigh to expand Medicaid is hurting North Carolina through the loss of billions of dollars in lost business activity and tens of thousands of jobs. Right now in NC more than 500,000 people currently fall into the coverage gap and would be helped if Gov. McCrory and politicians act.
Shumaker pointed to a study co-sponsored by her nonprofit that showed how the impact of not growing Medicaid ripples across the state and local economy, costing the state 43,000 jobs not created by 2020, about $862 million in lower tax revenues, and lost business activity of more than $21 billion.
In Guilford County, it means a $1.9 billion loss in business, more than 3,000 jobs not created and $11.5 million less in county tax revenue by 2020, she said.
Broadening Medicaid has been a hot issue in North Carolina because the expansion is part of the controversial Affordable Care Act, which state Republican leaders see as an unwarranted and poorly designed intrusion into the health-care system. They have proposed a program that would put more control and greater financial risk in the hands of private insurers.
North Carolina is among 17 of the 50 states yet to adopt the federal plan, which would cover 100 percent of this year’s costs to ultimately add about 478,000 people to the state Medicaid rolls. That support would drop to 90 percent over the next few years, compared with the federal government’s commitment to shoulder only about two-thirds of costs for people in North Carolina’s current Medicaid program.
The proposed expansion would extend Medicaid coverage to people earning just under 1.4 times the federal poverty line, or about $28,600 for a family of three. North Carolina’s current Medicaid program covers impoverished children but the cut-off point for the parents in a family of three stands at $667 a month, or about $8,000 per year.