North Carolina Can’t Afford To Miss The Opportunity To Expand Health Care Access

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New Council of Economic Advisers Report Shows Cost To NC Over Failure To Expand Medicaid

RALEIGH, NC -- On Wednesday, the White House Council of Economic Advisers released a new report detailing the economic and health care costs toNorth Carolina caused by the state legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory’s decision to put politics over people by refusing to expand health care access to over 375,000 people who fall into the coverage gap.

The report, entitled “Missed Opportunities: The Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid” finds that states which expanded Medicaid are seeing economic and health benefits in billions of dollars coming into their economy, reduced out of pocket health care expenses for their citizens and a healthier population. But due to the political priorities of Gov. McCrory and Republican lawmakers, North Carolina is seeing just the opposite.

“Thanks to lawmakers’ foolish decision to refuse the Medicaid expansion, North Carolinians are getting fewer cancer screenings, mammograms and doctor visits, and paying more for the care they do receive,” said Gerrick Brenner, Executive Director of Progress North Carolina. “Our state is throwing away new jobs and sending our tax dollars to states who are expanding instead of investing them back here at home. The CEA report provides even more evidence that expanding Medicaid comes with significant benefits we can’t afford to turn down.”

In addition to the public health improvements caused by expanding Medicaid, the report also finds that North Carolina would gain over 40,000 new jobs and $7 billion in Gross Domestic Product through 2017. “By refusing the expansion, Gov. McCrory and state lawmakers are foolishly sending that economic activity to other states,” added Brenner. “If improving North Carolina’s economy is really a priority for our leaders, here’s a great way to do it with little to no impact on state finances.”

Key findings from the report include that if North Carolina expanded Medicaid...

  • 14,000 more women between the ages of 50-64 would receive mammograms

  • 23,000 more women would receive pap smears

  • 30,000 fewer people will have untreated depression

  • 17,000 fewer people will face catastrophic out-of-pocket Medicaid expenses per year

  • North Carolina will receive $9.5 billion in federal support through 2016

  • 40,000 more jobs in North Carolina through 2017

  • An increase of over $7 billion in total economic activity through 2017

Read the full report here:


  1. Shereese Tucker's avatar
    Shereese Tucker
    | Permalink
    This is not surprising. On average, states not expanding Medicaid will loose an est. 2 billion dollars. However, the message lawmakers are spewing to the public is the cost of expansion. For example, in Florida it would cost the tax payers 1.1 billion to expand Medicaid. However, it will cost 5.5 billion not to expand Medicaid. The decision not to expand is costing the tax payers a net of 4.4 billion. Add to this the lost of new revenue, new jobs, and help from the feds, and Floridians are really missing out on serious economic growth. Other states who have opted out are seeing similar, if not larger deficits. State lawmakers should make the decision not to play politics with the health of state citizens.
  2. barbara balmer's avatar
    barbara balmer
    | Permalink
    Just another example of legislators not being concerned about anybody but their own; working class and poor citizens don't matter. I certainly hope they all take that into consideration when election time comes
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