Editorial blasts GOP decision to block Medicaid expansion yet again

House Speaker Tim Moore (L) and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R)

Be sure to check out this morning’s Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com for a succinct, powerful, and on the mark assessment of the decision of Republican state lawmakers to continue their deadly and destructive blockade of Medicaid expansion in their latest proposed budget. As is rightfully explained in “On Medicaid expansion, let legislators vote,” expansion could easily happen if — here’s a radical concept — Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and especially House Speaker Tim Moore (who seems to be the main roadblock right now) simply put the matter up for a vote and let every lawmaker vote the their conscience:

In the North Carolina House of Representatives it takes 61 votes to pass a state budget bill – assuming all 120 members are present and voting. It takes the same number of votes to amend such a bill, say to add an item, delete an item or to increase or decrease the amount of spending on any provision.

…Now, there are 69 Republicans and 51 Democrats in the state House. Does anyone, right now, know just how many of those Republicans and Democrats are supporting Medicaid Expansion? Let’s do something that is supposed to happen in a REAL democracy. How about letting the people North Carolinians elected to represent them stand up and be counted. Let them vote on Medicaid expansion.

We wouldn’t be completely shocked if there might be a smidgen of the Democrats who’d oppose expansion. Nor would we be astonished if there were some Republicans who would vote in favor of Medicaid expansion. It’s our hunch there are more than enough Republicans and Democrats who will vote to expand Medicaid.

As the editorial goes on to remind us, the arguments in favor of expansion — creating thousands of jobs, bringing billions of new dollars into the state, and most importantly, saving thousands of human lives — remain stronger than ever. What’s more polls consistently show that North Carolinians — even Republicans — favor such action.

Here’s the excellent conclusion:

Don’t let legislative leaders allow rank-and-file members duck the issue and avoid taking a stand.

Citizens elected their legislators to represent their interests. The only way they can know these legislators are being responsive is through their open and recorded votes.

Speaker Moore, don’t hide behind the partisan caucus walls. Don’t let legislators to use secret caucus meetings to avoid duty and accountability to their constituents.

Speaker Moore, free North Carolina’s legislators to vote – openly — their conscience on Medicaid expansion.

Click here to read the entire editorial.

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