NC House a step closer to blocking Medicaid expansion, Dems call the move “shortsighted” (video)

The state House gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that blocks NC Medicaid expansion and participation in a state-run health exchange.

Stanly County Republican Rep. Justin Burr warned his colleagues that the federal health care program was not free money and could end up as a burden to state taxpayers.

Durham County Democrat Rep. Mickey Michaux countered that accepting the federal money to help 500,000 uninsured North Carolinians would do something lawmakers have struggled to do – create jobs:

“You haven’t created a job in the two years that you’ve been here! You’ve got 23,000 jobs on the line right here,” said Michaux.

Healthcare advocates project that Medicaid expansion, which would be fully funded by the federal government for the first three years, would pump $15 billion into the state’s economy and create nearly 25,000 jobs during that time period.

Wake County Rep. Deborah Ross said rejecting billions to aid both the uninsured and the state’s health care industry was simply shortsighted:

“Why are we turning this down for the three years that it’s guaranteed at 100 percent? I think it’s fear and loathing. Fear of something you don’t control…and loathing of the fact we have the Affordable Care Act in the first place,” said Ross. “And that is the saddest thing, to do something just cause you’re mad.”

Senate Bill 4 faces a final vote in the House Thursday.

Governor McCrory issued a statement Tuesday saying Medicaid expansion was not in North Carolina’s best interests.

To hear highlights from Wednesday’s debate, click below:

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5 Comments

  1. Frances Jenkins

    February 14, 2013 at 5:29 am

    It was an interesting turn of events when four Democrats in the Senate voted for the UI Bill. As long as Representative Ross appears to be the face or the one making the talking points of the Democrat Party, more Democrats will be voting with the Republicans. Rep Ross needs to drink a little moonshine.

  2. gregflynn

    February 14, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Make up your mind Frances. We’re either drinking too much moonshine or not enough. People are going to get sick and injured regardless of how their treatment is payed for. We can control costs by deciding now how it’s payed for or, we can sing “Que Sera, Sera” while the invisible hand of the market picks our pockets by jacking up insurance rates to pay for indigent care in emergency rooms.

  3. Jack

    February 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I agree with Ross.

  4. [...] The median annual wage of those working in food prep/serving occupations is about $18K, which would place many of these workers in the position of being able to gain coverage through expansion of Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act. In fact, Medicaid expansion would provide coverage to an estimated 500,000 low-income state residents, yet state lawmakers seem determined to block it. [...]

  5. Frances Jenkins

    February 14, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Greg is a piece of work. Dr. Wos did not answer questions, really!!!!Considering two audits that were not released by Perdue and the loss of millions in taxpayers’ money, loss of cell phones, cars and she will not answer questions for Greg. Where is your character, Greg? No moonshine for Greg!!!!~