Triad residents join call for expanded Medicaid

Triad residents join call for expanded Medicaid
February 12
00:00 2015

The NC Left Me Out Coalition, a group of health care advocates supporting expanded Medicaid coverage in the state, continued its statewide tour in Greensboro on Friday, Feb. 6 to share the stories of some of the 500,000 North Carolinians who fall into the health insurance coverage gap caused by Republican lawmakers’ refusal to expand Medicaid.

Jolonda Ware, a Greensboro single mother and full-time student who also works multiple jobs, joined coalition members at Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine in Greensboro to share her story.

Ware said she often has to go without necessary medical care that an expanded Medicaid program would allow her to afford.

“I’m doing everything I can and more to support my son,” she said. “But apparently that’s still not enough, because lawmakers have decided to play politics instead of helping people like me afford the care we need. The longer they wait, the deeper people like me fall into debt as we struggle to pay for treatment.”

The tour and website come on the heels of a December report that found about 30,000 people in Guilford and Forsyth counties fall into this gap. The Cone Health Foundation study also found that expanding Medicaid to cover these people would create over 5,000 jobs, $3 billion in economic activity and nearly $20 million in tax revenueÊfor Guilford and Forsyth counties by 2020.

“North Carolina lawmakers have already cost the state nearly $2 billion in lost economic activity and the chance to create 43,000 jobs across the state by refusing to expand Medicaid,” said Adam Linker, co-director of the Health Access Coalition and a member of the NC Left Me Out Coalition. “Even worse, about 20 North Carolinians die every week because they lack access to affordable health care. The clock is ticking, and this website allows lawmakers and their voters back home to see personal stories from the 500,000 people who are being denied coverage.”

Lee Storrow, executive director of NC AIDS Action, added, “Some of our state leaders claim there is ‘no good case’ for expanding Medicaid. I guess they must not be paying attention, because the reasons for expansion are crystal clear. Just ask

Republican governors like Chris Christie and John Kasich who have decided to expand Medicaid in their states, recognizing the need to put people over politics.”

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