Former GOP legislative leader: Time to expand Medicaid has come

Danny McComas, a Republican businessman from the Wilmington area who served nine terms in the General Assembly and played prominent leadership roles under multiple House Speakers, has added his voice to the growing list of conservatives calling for North Carolina to expand Medicaid.

In an op-ed published in the Wilmington Star-News, McComas called on lawmakers to to negotiate with the Cooper administration to come to a compromise solution on the contentious issue:

In short, it’s time to get this done. North Carolina has one of the worst rates of health insurance coverage in the nation; only eight states are ranked worse.

Those who stand to gain coverage are employed in industries critical to local economies across the state, such as farming, child care, construction, food service and retail. Too often they are forced to make unfathomable choices between food and medicine or between rent and seeing a doctor. While they suffer the consequences directly, we all feel the impact of higher insurance premiums, lost productivity, and unhealthy communities.

Why are we ceding the competitive advantage and sending our federal tax dollars to 37 other states to stimulate their economies, to create thousands of jobs in their communities, and to provide affordable health insurance to their citizens? I cannot think of another situation in which anyone would think that is a good idea. It certainly is not a good business decision.

I know a good deal when I see one. The federal government will pay 90 percent of the costs if states expand eligibility for Medicaid. In North Carolina, the other 10 percent of the cost would be paid by hospitals and health plans.

In the essay, McComas offers an optimistic take on the position of Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, who has been the chief roadblock to expansion, citing a recent statement in which Berger claims to have had productive discussions on the subject with Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen.

Let’s hope McComas, who is on to something here.

[Note: McComas resigned from a position on the state Board of Transportation in 2017 after allegations of harassment were leveled by a female lobbyist over behavior in which McComas engaged in 2003. Click here to read the story in Raleigh’s News & Observer from that time.]


  1. Todd A McGee

    October 4, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Another obstructionist Republican who changes his tune when he’s no longer in a position to do anything about it.

  2. Traline DèMon Spencer

    October 4, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    Why do they wait until they are no longer a legislator to start making some sense? There must be some pretty strong peer pressure going on in that Republican caucus.

Check Also

Editorial takes Richard Burr to task for spreading Trump’s lies about Ukraine

In case you missed it, be sure to ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is failing to ensure that all military families have access to safe, quali [...]

North Carolina Republicans officially ran out the clock – at least legally – when they enacted a new [...]

A momentous clash over gun rights is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court is slated to h [...]

Text messages and emails point to questionable claims, promises and motives in rogue investigation o [...]

It may be difficult to say how you are feeling this morning, two mornings after a Superior Court pan [...]

Well, that appears to be a wrap. The 2019 legislative session that commenced way back in January and [...]

The post Sons of Confederate Veterans give thanks to UNC appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Donald J. Trump used the power of his office to blackmail a foreign ally into undermining a politica [...]