A popular theme on the Right is that having Medicaid health coverage is worse than having no health insurance at all. After all the years I’ve spent traveling North Carolina and meeting people in poverty desperate for basic health care but with no way to pay for coverage I still can’t believe people can make this argument with a straight face. Well, if you read one thing this weekend, read the incredibly moving story of the hardworking mom in Orlando, Florida who would have qualified for Medicaid but hasn’t because Florida, like NC, has refused to expand Medicaid. She dropped dead – on a sales call for her vacuum cleaner sales job no less – of an existing heart condition she couldn’t adequately treat because she couldn’t adequately pay for coverage.
Governor Pat McCrory today will reject billions of federal dollars from Obamacare to cover 500,000 more poor people under NC’s Medicaid program. McCrory says the main reason is that NC Medicaid is “broken.” But that’s just a talking point borrowed from Governors in states like Louisiana, Alabama and South Carolina. McCrory should be proud of NC Medicaid, our Community Care program – it’s award-winning and seen as a national model and national leader: