As the North Carolina General Assembly inches closer to expanding Medicaid, convening the Joint Legislative Committee on Access to Healthcare and Medicaid Expansion this week to hear from experts and consider ways to improve health care access in North Carolina, voters should be reminded that it was Pat McCrory who signed the law that prevents Governor Cooper from expanding Medicaid to the hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians who lack health care coverage today.
Hospital leaders like Brian Ellerby said that “if Medicaid had been expanded, nearly 85 percent of those [uninsured] patients [his hospital treated] would have qualified for it,” and that it would be “the best thing” for his community’s “sickest and most economically challenged.” Despite their pleas, then Governor McCrory left North Carolinians in the dust and medical leaders in the lurch, especially damaging rural hospitals. Since 2010, seven rural hospitals across North Carolina have been forced to close their doors and according to a June 2021 study, one in four are at risk of closure.
“As North Carolina weathered the COVID-19 public health crisis and unemployment skyrocketed, Pat McCrory’s decision to block Medicaid expansion left North Carolina unprepared,” said NCDP spokesperson Kate Frauenfelder. “Senate Republicans have already said that a GOP majority would continue efforts to dismantle health care coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act – and North Carolina voters can count on Pat McCrory rubber stamping his party’s toxic agenda.”