The drumbeat calling on state leaders to reverse course and accept federal Medicaid dollars in order to provide health insurance to hundreds of thousands of poor North Carolinians continues to grow louder and louder.
As this morning’s Greensboro News & Record editorial argues (after citing a new report by the accounting firm Jackson-Hewitt that the failure to expand will lead to tens of millions of dollars in tax penalties for North Carolina businesses):
“A society and an economy are stronger when people are healthier. Expanding Medicaid coverage could help North Carolina achieve that goal. If that could spare employers tens of millions of dollars in tax penalties at the same time, our pro-business governor should explore that opportunity.”
Meanwhile, be sure to check out this essay by Duke writer and doctor Laura Musselwhite in Raleigh’s News & Observer in which she points out:
“At the moment, a formidable 318,710 adults in North Carolina are working for incomes less than $11,500. These folks are too poor to qualify for subsidized tax credits for private insurance and do not qualify for Medicaid under our current standards.
In refusing the expansion, McCrory not only turned down much needed money for our state, but also might have shortened the lives of our working-class poor. A recent study in the noteworthy New England Journal of Medicine compared death rates in several states that expanded Medicaid to those in states that did not. Their results were clear: States that expanded Medicaid saved lives – almost 3,000 lives yearly in the three states studied….
McCrory’s rejection of N.C. Medicaid expansion is like kicking a dead dog; it makes no sense, and most folks would not approve.”