Source: Q City Metro
North Carolina remains one of just a dozen states that have yet to expand Medicaid. If Democrats take back legislative majorities in the General Assembly, that will change, Q City Metro reports.
Medicaid expansion has been a contentious issue in recent years. Democrats have pushed for the state to accept federal dollars since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Then-House Speaker Thom Tillis, now running for reelection to the Senate, prevented the state from accepting expansion. His successor, Tim Moore, has also refused to budge, Q City Metro reports.
Governor Cooper has long been an advocate for Medicaid expansion, fighting to have it included in the state budget last year. Now, with the pandemic, Cooper says it is unconscionable that Republicans still won’t accept money from the federal government to expand health care access
“Yeah, we were disputing about Medicaid expansion, but then a pandemic happened,” Cooper said recently at a press conference. “And now a lot of people are hurting. And now we’re fighting for every federal dollar we can get, and here it is right here! Here is the money to expand Medicaid and to get health insurance to 500,000 to 600,000 North Carolinians, probably more now because many of them don’t have jobs. And they’re not gonna do it? I don’t understand it!”
In campaign ads, Cooper points out that his opponent, Dan Forest, opposes Medicaid expansion.
“As Governor, I’ll keep fighting to expand Medicaid for working people,” Cooper says in the spot. “39 states have done it, including Indiana when Mike Pence was Governor.”