January 21, 2020/Press

ICYMI – Paper Slams GOP for Wasting Taxpayer Dollars As Local Conservatives Call on NCGOP to Expand Medicaid

Raleigh – Earlier this week Republicans showed their cards once again. The GOP returned to Raleigh to play more partisan games rather than negotiate a teacher pay raise or pass a budget at all. When it became clear that Sen. Berger would not have the votes to override the Governor’s veto, he cancelled the vote and sent legislators home, all “a big waste of time and money — taxpayer money.”

By refusing to compromise, Republicans are forcing North Carolina’s teachers to go at least another four months without a pay raise and the approximately half a million people who would benefit from Medicaid expansion to go uninsured. As the budget battle drags into its sixth month, more and more conservative local leaders are calling on the General Assembly to expand Medicaid. Including Graham County Commissioner Dale Wiggins who told WRAL: “We believe we have a responsibility to look after our citizens. It’s a human being thing to us, not a political thing.”

When will NCGA Republicans see what is clear to everyone else: Expanding Medicaid isn’t just smart policy – it’s the right thing to do. 

Greensboro News & Record: Our Opinion: N.C. Senate fails us again

January 15, 2020

  • The N.C. Senate met Tuesday in Raleigh, apparently to spin its wheels some more. Three items were on the agenda, all attempted overrides of Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes — on public school teacher pay, environmental regulatory changes, and the state budget.

  • On the first two items, all 21 Senate Democrats stood firm to sustain the governor’s vetoes. So the GOP leadership didn’t even attempt a vote on the budget. They put if off until, likely, April.

  • [Medicaid expansion] would create jobs and save lives. No state that has adopted Medicaid expansion has expressed regret.

  • Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, still holds to his flimsy claim that he fears the federal government might not do its part by failing to keep its commitment to pay 90% of the cost of expansion. After so many other states have benefited from Medicaid expansion, Berger really owes the public a better reason. Actually, he owes it to the state to stand down.

  • State GOP legislators have been trying to portray themselves as education champions for a while now. But any legislature that provides the kind of corporate tax cuts that have become a Republican staple can afford more for our teachers.

  • It’s embarrassing for our state legislature to be tied up like this, but Republicans haven’t yet adjusted to the loss of their veto-proof majority. Rather than work with their new Democratic colleagues, they’ve [been] playing games. Never mind the notion of running government like a business; they can’t even run government like a government.


WRAL: Growing number of conservative local leaders want Medicaid expanded in NC

January 17, 2020

By Laura Leslie

  • Medicaid expansion is a hyper-partisan political issue in the General Assembly, where it’s the major sticking point in the continuing budget standoff between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislative leaders. But that’s not the case across much of North Carolina, including a growing number of conservative counties.

  • A bipartisan group called Care4Carolina is gathering support for expansion, sometimes in the backyards of Republican lawmakers who oppose the idea.

  • “We believe we have a responsibility to look after our citizens. It’s a human being thing to us, not a political thing,” said Graham County Commissioner Dale Wiggins.

  • They and other Medicaid expansion proponents expressed frustration at the legislative inaction. Lawmakers didn’t bother to address any health care proposals in their one-day session this week, and they aren’t scheduled to return to Raleigh until the end of April.

  • A bill in the House to cover 300,000 low-income working adults through the Affordable Care Act has been idling since September, when a committee approved it overwhelmingly.

  • “It’s hard for legislators to ignore the business support in their communities, the civic support in their communities, the health provider support in their communities,” [Erica Palmer Smith, director of Care4Carolina] said. “We are confident that, as we continue to build that support, it will become more difficult to ignore, and our leaders will step up.”

  • This is very vital to the citizens of Alamance County,” said Sheriff Terry Johnson, another Republican, who notes that expansion could provide a way to address mental health problems that lead to crime and addiction in his community.