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New Poll Finds A Majority Of North Carolinians Support Medicaid Expansion

Source: WGHP

A new poll, released by the American Cancer Society, found that 8 out of 10 North Carolinians said that expanding Medicaid is important to them and that they support expanding the program.

North Carolina remains one of 11 states that have yet to expand the crucial health care program. Currently, the state has 2.9 million people enrolled in Medicaid, and if expanded, more than 600,000 people who are eligible for the insurance could receive coverage. 

“Medicaid expansion is a crucial initiative that would provide numerous benefits for the state, and especially here in rural eastern North Carolina, where we see high rates of chronic diseases and high rates of uninsured patients,” stated Jay Briley, president of ECU Health community hospitals, at a Medicaid Expansion roundtable last week. “ Simply put, Medicaid expansion would make an important difference in the lives of so many, and we are committed to advocating for this important measure.”

Despite the overwhelming support for the measure by North Carolinians and advocates, state Republican leaders have dragged their feet on the health care expansion. 

The impact of the delay has resulted in an increase in several rural hospital closures and the state losing out on billions of federal funding, especially during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Fox8, North Carolina’s secretary for Health and Human Services Kody H. Kinsley, sent a letter to legislative leaders back in August, warning leaders that the state would lose more than $1 billion in federal payments and jeopardize medical coverage for thousands of residents if they didn’t expand by the end of September.

Before the close of the 2022 session, the Senate passed expansion, but the bill failed to pass in the House. The new 2023 session may bring a renewed interest in passing the crucial health care program, yet Republican leadership in the House may prove to be another hurdle. 

Read more at WGHP


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