Letter: It’s high time to expand Medicaid in NC

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I’ve been a passionate advocate for access to health care for residents of our state for years. When the General Assembly met this summer for its legislative session, I can’t believe expanding Medicaid wasn’t the first step the legislature took to support the health of our residents during this pandemic!

We’ve been beating the drumbeat about the need to expand Medicaid in this state for almost a decade, and we’re in the small minority of states that haven’t expanded. The facts are undeniable: Expanding Medicaid would provide access to health insurance for as many as 500,000 residents of our state desperately in need of care. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic, which has reinforced health disparities along race that we’ve known about for decades. One of the main reasons communities of color face such a higher rate of COVID-19 is less access to health insurance. Expanding Medicaid would be one step forward in working to address these disparities.

We’re lucky in Asheville to be represented by a delegation that has been champions of Medicaid expansion for years and should send them notes of thanks for consistently speaking out on this topic. We should all be calling Sen. Berger and Rep. Moore to demand a vote this summer on Medicaid expansion for North Carolina. Anything less is a neglect of their duty to lead for the best interests of all citizens of our state. I’m sure they’ll be back in town for a veto override or special session in the weeks and months ahead. People are dying because of a lack of access to health insurance! I’m tired of talking about it; let’s get Medicaid expanded this year!

— Tony Franco


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One thought on “Letter: It’s high time to expand Medicaid in NC

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    NC just cannot afford another $6 billion to gain more permanent dependents…sorry, wish we could.

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