NC Budget and Tax Center

Veteran academic to discuss NC’s racial wealth gap

The N.C. Budget and Tax Center will host its latest “Economy for All” event next Wednesday, February 20 in Durham. The event will feature Professor Sandy Darity, who is a professor of Economics, Public Policy, and African and African American Studies at Duke University. He will discuss the state of North Carolina’s racial wealth gap and what we can do to foster equity.

This is the official invitation from the Budget & Tax Center:

“Each year the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center, hosts a talk on economic issues in our state.  Under the banner of Economy for All, this event seeks to shape current debate about the role of public policy in advancing more equitable economic outcomes and informing the general public about the issues that we must address to fully realize our potential for greater well-being.

This year, we would like to invite you to join us to hear from Professor Sandy Darity about his extensive work on advancing an equitable economy in our country and the policy choices that can make that possible.”

Here are the event details:

Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Time: Networking reception from 5:30p – 6:15p and discussion panel from 6:15p – 7:30p

Location: The Boiler Room (320 Blackwell St #101, Durham, NC 27701)

Click here to check out the event Facebook page and RSVP.

News

Advocates for Medicaid expansion in Berger’s district speak out

Senator Phil Berger’s constituents in Rockingham County are pressing for Medicaid expansion that would allow coverage for 500,000 North Carolinians. With 10,000 of its citizens uninsured, Rockingham County is feeling the effects of the healthcare coverage gap. Meanwhile, 25 miles away, citizens in Danville, Virginia are reaping the benefits of Virginia’s 2019 Medicaid expansion. Today’s N.C. Justice Center press conference in Reidsville allowed a platform for members of both communities to share their stories.

Speakers shared their experiences of financial stress as they battle health concerns without health insurance. Kristy Solomon of Rockingham County shared, “I have to pay out-of-pocket for my blood work…I’m a server. Do I work Monday to pay this provider, Tuesday to pay this one, and Thursday to pay the pharmacy? I don’t want to accumulate medical debt, but I have.”

Reidsville Councilman Terresia Scoble and Dr. Stephen Luking of Reidsville both challenged the notion that a Medicaid expansion would be expensive for the state; they argued that with an expansion, North Carolina could actually save billions of dollars and see growth in local economies.

Five rural North Carolina hospitals have closed in the past eight years, creating additional challenges for rural North Carolinians seeking medical care. Scoble shared that Berger’s local hospital, formerly Morehead Hospital, was on the verge of bankruptcy last year and was bailed out by UNC Health Care. Berger’s constituents are struggling to receive proper healthcare and he continues to oppose an expansion that would provide coverage for 4,408 people in Rockingham County alone.

Lawmakers of both parties are expected to introduce Medicaid expansion legislation in the state legislative session that gets underway this week.

Click here to watch video of today’s event.

Kate Rice is a student at UNC Chapel Hill and an intern at NC Policy Watch.