Republican leaders at the North Carolina General Assembly may be doing everything in their power to ignore and avoid the issue of closing the state’s health insurance coverage gap, but facts and events keep interfering with their plan. Two cases in point are on stage today.
The first is a new report released this morning by analysts at the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center. In “Medicaid work requirement would create new barriers to health in North Carolina,” authors Alexandra Sirota and Suzy Khachaturyean document the folly of attempting to force Medicaid recipients to work for their health care. This is from a release that accompanied the report:
We know that the state’s high uninsurance rate is hindering the well-being of entire communities and at least 500,000 North Carolinians could enroll in quality health care through Medicaid expansion. And our analysis shows that one proposal on the table will keep a coverage gap in place by requiring reporting on work activities, along with the payment of premiums, as a condition of receiving health care. Not only have work-reporting requirements been deemed illegal by a federal judge, but these proposed barriers ignore the realities of life in the coverage gap and the current labor market.
Our conservative estimates show that:
- 88,000 North Carolinians would likely lose coverage due to the work-reporting requirements
- 145,000 North Carolinians would be blocked from enrolling or could lose coverage due to the premium requirement
Meanwhile, speaking of the half-million-plus North Carolinians already in the gap, there will be vigils in 22 locations across the state tonight to call attention to this tragedy and to remember the thousands of people who have already suffered and/or died as a result.
Click here for more information and to find the event nearest you.