Today, Congresswoman Kathy Manning (NC-06), State Sen. Gladys Robinson (SD-28), State Rep. Brian Farkas (HD-9), North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) Chair Bobbie Richardson, and Rebecca Cerese from NC Justice Center held a roundtable ahead of the 56th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid on tomorrow, Friday, July 30th, to highlight how Democrats from the federal to local level are focused on delivering for North Carolinians, while Republicans are still blocking Medicaid expansion and continuing their toxic record on health care.
“Our state legislature has refused to do what they need to do to make sure that more than half a million North Carolinians who fall in that coverage gap can get coverage. I recently co-led the introduction of the Medicaid Saves Lives Act, which is legislation that would allow all North Carolinians and all Americans who fall in that insurance coverage gap to get the coverage they need. This is a creative and realistic solution to the problem that’s created by our state legislature’s continued refusal to expand Medicaid in our state,” said Congresswoman Kathy Manning (NC-06).
“In that 2021-2022 budget proposal, Governor Cooper has proposed Medicaid expansion. Earlier this year, Senator Clark and I proposed a bill to close the Medicaid coverage gap in North Carolina. It’s a good-sense bill that talks about covering the more than 600,000 individuals in North Carolina that are left in the gap. These are folks who are working in daycares and nursing homes, folks at restaurants, folks who own small businesses –– we owe them health care in our state. I hope that Republican leadership will work with the Governor in the Conference Report to expand Medicaid. This is common sense to ensure that everyone, including our most vulnerable communities, have access to health care,” said State Sen. Gladys Robinson (SD-28).
“North Carolina has lost seven rural hospitals since 2010. Health care specialists leave when a hospital closes. In Pitt County, we’ve got to keep these rural hospitals open and allow our hospitals to not just get by – but we’ve got to help them in any way we can. Medicaid expansion is the way to do that,” said Rep. Brian Farkas (HD-9).
“It’s imperative that our state expands Medicaid to over half a million North Carolinians who fall in the coverage gap. As we celebrate the anniversary tomorrow, we must also remember that the fight for health care is on the ballot and these programs continue to be under constant attacks by Republican politicians like Congressman Ted Budd, former Governor Pat McCrory, and former Congressman Mark Walker, who want a seat in the U.S. Senate,” said NCDP Chair Bobbie Richardson.
“I have been privileged to go across the state and talk to people who don’t have access to healthcare. I will tell you that each story is more heartbreaking than the last. I have met three people that have had loved ones die because of the Medicaid coverage gap. Our system is failing North Carolinians. This is real. This has real life consequences for peoples that are mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. We can’t lose sight of that,” said Rebecca Cerese from the non-partisan NC Justice Center.
Those on the call also heard about the personal impact of the legislature’s failure to expand health care for North Carolinians like Deanna.