Top of the Morning

Top of the morning

The debate in North Carolina this legislative session about Health Choice, the program that provides health care for low-income children, is about freezing enrollment or dropping some kids from the program to help balance the state budget.

That may not seem surprising, given that the state is facing a $4.6 billion budget shortfall. But almost every state is facing budget problems, and the New York Times reports many of them are expanding children’s health care anyway, including Alabama.

Alabama State Senator Roger Bedford explained it to the Times this way.

Our economy is tough here. But our decision was to fund the health care needs of our children because a healthy child learns better and they don’t show up at the emergency room needing acute care.

The North Carolina economy is tough too. But our kids get sick and need to see a doctor, recession or not. If other states with huge budget problems can invest more in children’s health care, why can’t we?

One Comment


  1. Lucy Gorham

    July 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Funding children’s health insurance should be looked at as an investment in our kids’ and our state’s future for just the reasons noted — children do better in school and have fewer health problems that show up in the emergency room now or as adults mid-to-longer term. If NC doesn’t understand this calculus, it’s going to continue to apply this stop and start approach to essential services. We are shooting ourselves in the foot, folks, let’s wake up and fund a program that is both fiscally and ethically sound.

Check Also

Anthony Scaramucci thought HB2 was “shameful”

Anthony Scaramucci, President Trump’s new communications director, was ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

A pivotal legislative task force may be just beginning its dive into North Carolina’s school funding [...]

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Env [...]

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit again [...]

Will Burr and Tillis really vote for this? For much of the 20th Century, one of the labels that Amer [...]

President Trump and Congressional Republicans aim to rebrand enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest ho [...]

20—number of years since a bipartisan coalition in Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance P [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more