April 29, 2020/Press

House Legislators Introduce Bill to Expand Medicaid in NC for Working Families

Raleigh – Today, Democratic legislators from across North Carolina introduced House Bill 1040 to expand Medicaid in North Carolina and increase access to affordable health care for more than half a million North Carolinians. House Leaders joined together on a press call earlier today to discuss the new legislation.

North Carolina’s failure, year after year, to expand Medicaid has left the state more vulnerable to pandemics and public health crises because of the state’s high uninsured population.

“Health care for working families is more important than ever,” said Representative Sydney Batch of Wake County.  “When you have over 500,000 North Carolinians without coverage that means people are delaying care, which is bad for them and bad for the public health.”

“Expanding health care coverage lowers costs for all families,” said Rep. Christy Clark of Mecklenburg County. “When people are uninsured, they delay care until it is really expensive and then they go the Emergency Room where all of us end up paying through higher premiums and costs.”

Medicaid Expansion is not just about making health care more available and more affordable. It also would create over 37,000 new health care jobs and boost paychecks across the state, according to a Cone Health Foundation report.

“Bringing federal funds to North Carolina to create jobs just makes sense,” said Rep. Scott Brewer of Richmond County. “With the economic downturn, the need for more health care jobs and a stronger health infrastructure has never been greater – particularly in rural North Carolina.”

“It is time to stop kicking the can down the road,” said Rep. James Gailliard of Nash County. “We have front-line workers and vulnerable individuals without health coverage. The importance of health care coverage has never been more dramatic. If legislative leaders will not allow a vote on expansion now, when will they ever?”