Letter: Why are legislators denying workers Medicaid?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

It’s no secret that key people in our community lack any sort of health care coverage support. Through no fault of their own, they are caught in a “coverage gap” between Medicaid and Medicare, and they are among over 500,000 people in North Carolina who are networked into our daily lives.

Who are they? They include early childhood educators, home health care aides, construction workers, cashiers and service workers in restaurants, retail businesses, hotels and theaters. These are people who feed their families and pay rent by juggling two-four jobs. Their employers don’t provide health care coverage, and they can’t afford routine health care. When there is a health crisis, the emergency room is their only option. They live on our community’s margin, and it seems certain legislators aim to keep them in that place.

This needs to change! North Carolina Democratic and Republican legislators know that the solution to filling this gap is to pass legislation that provides “clean” Medicaid expansion. This means no special requirements — no fees, no reporting, no extra hurdles that have been judged to be illegal or impractical in other states. Simply Medicaid!

Many North Carolina representatives and senators regard Medicaid expansion as the most fair and appropriate solution. It has already been adopted by 37 other states. Why are some North Carolina legislators still denying Medicaid health care coverage to these hardworking people?

— Paul Smith
Mars Hill

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3 thoughts on “Letter: Why are legislators denying workers Medicaid?

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    people can get medical care at many places, whether it’s ever paid for, or not… WHY should the taxpayers continue to pay for people’s healthcare? Let each provide what they need for themselves. It’s not a function of government.

  2. luther blissett

    Can we not both-sides this? The Republican majorities in the NCGA want people to die or be bankrupted by medical bills. They think that sickness is God’s way of telling you to be rich enough to afford healthcare.

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