Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
November 04
11:42 2021

Responsible allocation of our tax dollars

To The Editor,

How should your tax dollars be spent? Surely this is a question every North Carolinian ought to be able to answer. 

Right now, while Governor Cooper and the N.C. General Assembly are negotiating our state budget, there are $7.2 billion in state coffers. So far, draft budgets have not included Medicaid expansion. N.C. is one of only 12 states that have not expanded Medicaid. Federal incentives would allow us to expand our state health safety net with no additional expenditures this year. After that, the federal government will cover 90% of our state’s Medicaid expansion costs in perpetuity. 

Who would gain coverage? The people who make too much for current Medicaid coverage (42% of poverty level), but not enough to be able to obtain ACA coverage with subsidies (138% of poverty rate). 

Some Triad legislators oppose medicaid expansion. Sen. Joyce Krawiec warns against creating a “new entitlement” that will bankrupt the state in the unlikely event that the federal government goes back on its commitments. Rep. Lambeth will only consider expansion that includes a work requirement, which the Supreme Court has disallowed, and for good reasons. (As it happens, most people who would be covered by expansion are in fact working). Now the federal government is offering incentives that would allow N.C. to expand Medicaid without spending any state dollars for now, and only 10% of cost in the future. 

The numbers are clear. What’s keeping N.C. legislators from allocating our tax dollars responsibly?

Eileen McCully


Support for the Build Back Better plan

To The Editor,

The Build Back Better plan is a must to help average citizens maintain not only a reasonable standard of living, rather a “positive frame of mind”! I am pleading with Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis to look within, to tap into that humane gene that is yearning to help provide peace of mind for “all” constituents. I have experienced firsthand healthcare hardships. When my husband was self-employed, his healthcare monthly premiums, co-payments, etc., consumed a minimum of 25% of his income. That negatively impacted our livelihood, to say the least. 

The Build Back Better Act will expand healthcare in America by: 1. Lowering health insurance premiums: This may extend the tax subsidies that lower Affordable Care Act (ACA) premiums. The subsidies benefit about 9 million people and will expire in 2022 unless extended; 2. Providing healthcare to low-income Americans in 12 states. Closing the Medicaid coverage gap would mean over 2.2 million Americans in states like Florida, Georgia, and Texas would gain access to health insurance (a right, rather than a privilege) – These are Americans who make too little to be eligible for the ACA, but are ineligible for Medicaid because their state has refused to adopt Medicaid expansion.

Investing in home and community-based care services: These in-home care services allow seniors and persons with disabilities the option to live at home in their communities rather than an institution. I serve on the HCCBG Advisory Council for my county.

Lowering prescription drug prices: 1. America pays more than any other country for prescriptions; 2. The new plan may give Medicare the authority to negotiate drug prices to lower the costs we Medicare beneficiaries pay. Medicare could be strengthened by expanding the program to include coverage for dental, vision, and hearing. 

Americans deserve no less!

Dr. Althea Taylor Jones


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