The two candidates for governor in North Carolina, incumbent Roy Cooper and challenger Dan Forest, have opposite views on one of the key issues this election: Health care.
Governor Cooper’s campaign says that his opponent would leave “half a million people behind in the middle of a pandemic,” because Forest would refuse to expand Medicaid. In fact, an analyst from a conservative-leaning group in the state says it could be even higher than that number.
Medicaid expansion would help North Carolinians who fall in the coverage gap – people who make too much to qualify for Medicaid as it stands and too little to afford private insurance. Medicaid expansion would benefit rural hospitals, create 40,000 jobs and boost the economy by $11.7 billion in just three years.
North Carolinians, despite not having access to Medicaid expansion yet, help bankroll the program in other states that have accepted it. The Tar Heel state is one of a dozen yet to expand. And expansion would be at no cost to the state: 90 percent of the funding would come from the federal government and the remaining share would be funded by hospitals and health care plans.
“The truth is, we have allowed other states to have the benefit of millions of dollars of coverage for expanded medicaid and we’ve foregone all that so we’re basically covering people in other states with our tax dollars,” Dr. Wayne Hale, a physician, told CBS17.