Letter: Pandemic intensifies need for Medicaid expansion

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Paying for basic health care is out of reach for many in North Carolina. I know this firsthand, as I did not qualify for Affordable Care Act subsidies after a pandemic job loss, and unemployment benefits disqualified me for Medicaid.

My story is similar to millions of Americans who have lost their jobs since the pandemic hit, making the need for affordable and accessible care even more dire.

By refusing to expand Medicaid despite this increased need from North Carolina families, our state budget and residents’ health remains compromised. Not only are we leaving millions in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan on the table, but there are longer-term benefits as well. States that have expanded eligibility for Medicaid have significantly reduced the amount of uncompensated care provided by hospitals and other providers and improved access to care in rural communities.

The truth is we’re long overdue for the lifesaving benefits that would come from North Carolina increasing eligibility for the program. Medicaid has helped cover some North Carolinians, including kids and people with disabilities, helping strengthen our hospitals and our communities. At this pivotal moment in public health, Rep. Madison Cawthorn needs to make the right, commonsense choice for North Carolina families.

— Scott Blanchard


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2 thoughts on “Letter: Pandemic intensifies need for Medicaid expansion

  1. WNC

    I’m sorry you lost your job. There’s nothing free because if its free to you it’s a bill to someone else. The Federal government doesn’t have cash setting around to spend, they have printed and borrowed money. They like to signup states up to pay a small portion toward the cost of new spending then gradually (well not gradually ) dump the obligation mostly or totally on to the state. While people who have been receiving payment from borrowed money jump up and down screaming you can’t cut my benefits (their mine).
    Currently if your a working tax payer as of about a month ago you owe around $170,000 of national debt, this is not for your household just you. If you have someone else working in your household they owe the same amount etc.
    The current effort to drastically increase spending is not included in this amount.
    Not sure your line of work but jobs abound, although there are efforts by the Federal government to put policy’s in place to end that.

  2. Robert

    The pandemic also exposed the fact that we need to protect more natural outdoor spaces, especially those near established parks and urban centers. Doing so benefits the physical/mental wellbeing of citizens and perhaps cuts down on the need for some medical treatment. In the long run, this more holistic strategy can save/prolong lives and reduce taxpayer burden.

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