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Make 2023 the year that the N.C. Legislature votes to Expand Medicaid

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

Shockingly, North Carolina is one of only 11 states that has not expanded Medicaid. Recently, SEARCH attended a local presentation on the Rural Voices for Medicaid Expansion, a campaign organized by the N.C. Justice Center. They learned how expanding Medicaid in North Carolina would directly affect our communities. When individuals and families don't have health coverage, they often skip out on healthcare altogether and end up with advanced, life-threatening conditions. Debts can build up and jobs can be put at risk. Hospital Emergency Departments are strained and rural

hospitals in particular fight to cover the costs of treating uninsured patients.

Some rural hospitals risk closure in part as a result of these costs.

Care4Carolinas, a statewide nonprofit expanding access and enhancing prosperity, figures that expanding Medicaid in N.C. would give access to health insurance to 880 Mitchell County residents and 1,186 Yancey County residents. It would create local jobs and help the economy. Closing the coverage gap could provide treatment to local people with substance use disorders. And it would come at zero cost in new state

taxes. The federal government would pay 90% of costs. The remaining 10% would be funded by a small assessment on hospitals and other health care providers.

Here's one rural North Carolina doctor's heartbreaking story of a patient without medical insurance coverage during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic:

The SEARCH board has planned an informal “Love Thy Neighbor” postcard writing get together on Thursday, January 26, on the porch at Homeplace from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. We invite people to stop by and write postcards to legislators encouraging them to pass Medicaid expansion in this session. The N.C. Justice Center is providing the postcards, stamps, and addresses and we'll have talking points to choose from. It should be fun! No registration necessary, but we'd welcome an email from folks who think they can make it.

Thursday, January 26 from 5:00 - 7:00pm


@ Homeplace Beer Company in Burnsville


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