Stunning story on the moral and financial cost of NC not expanding Medicaid
If you read one story today, read this one (it ran at the top of the front page) from Sunday’s News and Observer/Charlotte Observer by by John Murawski and Karen Garloch. It is a classic example of why a functioning democracy desperately needs a free, professional and inquiring press. Murawski and Garloch use quiet, factual reporting to highlight the enormous moral gulf created when Governor McCrory and the NC General Assembly refused to expand Medicaid to 500,000 North Carolinians this year. You won’t believe the quotes from lawmakers and you won’t believe the hardship going on right under the politicians’ noses that they willfully resist acknowledging:
[NC Rep. Nelson Dollar] added that the people who would be covered under Medicaid expansion are “relatively healthy and not the ones in most need. If somebody has an emergency and they go to the emergency room, they will always get care.”
For [uninsured 54 year old cancer patient] Baginski, the difference between charity care and Medicaid is the difference between limited doctors who provide pro bono work and a health care network that includes hospitals and mental health counselors. Her unpaid medical bills are up to $24,000, she said.
“I would have a regular doctor, and I could get medications,” Baginski said. “There’s a lot of medications I’m supposed to get, but there’s no way I can get them.”