N.C. Medicaid Expansion Would Benefit Nearly 500,000, Boost the Economy
It's been just over a year since the Cone Health Foundation and Kate B. Reynolds released their report detailing the enormous economic and health benefits for North Carolinians if we expanded Medicaid. Unfortunately, in the time little legislative progress has been made and politicians seem suck in their ways.
It is important to understand North Carolina’s current Medicaid coverage policy – you must be a low-income child, a pregnant woman, an extremely low-income parent, a low-income senior or a person with a disability to qualify for Medicaid in North Carolina. Who gets left out? Adults who don’t have children, no matter how low their incomes are. These are people we all know and rely on every day: people working for a living in construction and food service, people taking care of our children. Many North Carolinians in the coverage gap do not get insurance through their jobs and cannot afford insurance on their own. Surprisingly, their incomes are too low to qualify for tax credits through Healthcare.gov and too high to qualify for Medicaid. That’s the coverage gap we need to close for the hard-working people our service-based economy depends on.
The report makes the case that closing the coverage gap could be an important engine for economic growth and job creation across the breadth of North Carolina. Expanding coverage for half a million North Carolinians will enable them to get timely, affordable health care, including preventive and primary care that can help keep them healthy, as well as meet their needs when they are ill or injured.