Stalled Republican Budget Talks Results in Thousands Of North Carolinians Without Health Care Coverage

Source: Winston Salem Journal

Thousands of North Carolinians no longer have access to health care coverage, as state Republicans continue to stall on the state budget. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley, more than 9,000 enrolled North Carolinians no longer have Medicaid coverage. 

The increased gap in coverage would have been prevented if Medicaid expansion was in effect following Gov. Roy Cooper’s authorization of the law back in March. However, state Republicans tied Medicaid expansion to the passage of the state budget, which has been delayed until August.

“Making Medicaid Expansion contingent on passing the budget was and is unnecessary, and now the failure of Republican legislators to pass the budget is ripping health care away from thousands of real people and costing our state and our hospitals millions of dollars,” Gov. Cooper stated in a press release earlier this month.

On top of the state budget delay, the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) stopped continuous coverage for Medicaid patients. According to the Greensboro News & Record, more than 35,000 North Carolinians have lost their Medicaid coverage due to the end of PHE.

Approximately 600,000 North Carolinians benefited from continuous coverage. 

“After weeks of delay, the Republican supermajority legislature has failed to pass a budget on time, focusing instead on extreme, job-killing culture war bills and reckless plans to dismantle public education,” Gov. Cooper said in a statement. “In the meantime, working people are losing health coverage as emergency federal programs end.”

Reporting from N.C. Health News has underscored the impact of stalled negotiations between House and Senate Republicans, with the urgent health care needs of uninsured North Carolinians ever-increasing. 

“With them dragging their feet and taking their time on these decisions, it’s leaving literally my life in the balance,” DeAnna Brandon, a Rowan County resident who was diagnosed last year with multiple myeloma, told N.C. Health News. “The clock is, like, beyond ticking.”

Read more at N.C. Health News


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