Partisan political posturing occasionally has real-world consequences. And sometimes those consequences are pretty despicable. Apparently the relentless – but baseless and wrong and embarrassingly recycled – attacks again and again on NC’s Medicaid program as “broken” have had more of an effect beyond playing a leading role in Gov. McCrory’s and the General Assembly’s justification for rejecting Medicaid expansion to 500,000 citizens under the Affordable Care Act. According to a new report from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicaid applications are down 1.6% in North Carolina compared to last year. And this is a year in which states that have implemented the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion are seeing a 15.5% increase in Medicaid applications.
All that demonizing of NC’s award-winning Medicaid program by our Governor and General Assembly is having the effect of talking down the program while states that are taking 100% federal money to expand coverage are seeing many more uninsured people finally get coverage. As very conservative Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich said about his support of expanding Medicaid in his state: “it’s going to save lives.” The opposite is true in NC.