April 20, 2016

NCARA Education Fund Comments on Medicaid Expansion

N.C. has not yet accepted Medicaid Expansion. As a result, the state has lost 6 billion in revenue and stands to lose an additional $21 billion by 2020.  This decision has also left hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians without early and consistent access to quality health care. It is well accepted that the earlier medical treatment is provided the more cost effective it is with better outcomes for the patient and provider.

Most seriously impacted are workers at the bottom of the pay scale and those with minimal income. Unfortunately, these folks access emergency rooms far more frequently than those who have access to early diagnosis and better preventative care. Rural medical facilities are straining under the weight of providing emergency room care to the uninsured with no way to recoup the expenditures.

Workers who earn wages that set them at or below the poverty level see quality of life issues for them and their families. In turn they spend a greater percentage of their income on health care or skip it altogether. These workers, many of whom work in the Home Health Care industry or in Fast Food industries, simply will never be able to retire as they are unable to maintain healthy outcomes and are also unable to save.

Recent negative changes in Unemployment Insurance has disrupted the ability of North Carolinians to search for work if laid off or terminated. Employee provided health Care is stripped from these workers and they cannot access Medicaid either

N.C. should:

Accept Medicaid Expansion

Increase the Medicaid rate for home health care

Return unemployment insurance to previous levels

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