North Carolina NAACP Requests Meeting With Governor McCrory and Senator-Elect Tillis to Discuss Medicaid Expansion

The North Carolina NAACP has sent a letter to Governor Pat McCrory and Senator-Elect Thom Tillis requesting to meet with them in order to discuss Medicaid Expansion. Since Veterans Day is tomorrow, the NC NAACP considers this an especially appropriate time to start a serious dialogue, given that more than 23,000 veterans in North Carolina would gain healthcare under the Medicaid Expansion. Below are copies of each letter:

Dear Governor McCrory: 

Now that the election is over -- and because during the campaign you and Speaker Thom Tillis stated that you were now open to pursuing Medicaid expansion, and willing to call for a special session of the NC General Assembly to provide the venue to make this happen -- it is time to make good on this pledge.

On behalf of the North Carolina NAACP, I ask for an emergency meeting with each of you that would involve clergy, physicians, mayors, health advocates, people being denied, and sadly those who have lost loved ones to discuss how together we can make this a reality.  Not only will expansion bring peace of mind to over 500,000 of our citizens, but also it will begin economic relief to our providers and the communities in which our providers reside.

As we all know there are moral and economic benefits to this expansion:

Economic Benefits: 

  • An August 2014 report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute concluded that, without the expansion, North Carolina stood to lose $39.6 billion in Medicaid funding over the next decade.
  • An August 2014 report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute concluded that, without the expansion, North Carolina hospitals, a major economic engine for dozens of our rural communities would lose $11.3 billion in Medicaid reimbursements. This loss of revenue also forces hospitals to cost-shift this financial loss in terms of higher private sector insurance premiums that small businesses and all of us must pay -- a leading cause of healthcare inflation. 
  • By expanding Medicaid, North Carolina has an opportunity to reduce the cost of uncompensated care, a cost shared by all North Carolina taxpayers. In 2009, the cost of uncompensated medical care in North Carolina was estimated at $2.1 billion. Without the Affordable Care Act, this cost was projected to increase to $4.4 billion by 2019. (Burch, Brenna. "The Medicaid Expansion: A Transformative & Fiscally Sustainable Policy for North Carolina." BTC Brief. August 2012.) 
  • The Regional Economic Model, Inc. estimates that expansion will create 25,000 new jobs by 2016. (Burch, Brenna. "The Medicaid Expansion: A Transformative &Fiscally Sustainable Policy for North Carolina." BTC Brief. August 2012.) 

Moral Benefits: 

  • 23,300 North Carolina veterans would gain healthcare (March 2013 study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute)
  • A recent Families USA report, based on a U.S. Census survey, found that, among the working poor in North Carolina who would be eligible: 
    • 59,000 are employed in construction jobs
    • 56,000 in food service
    • 43,000 in cleaning and maintenance jobs
    • 34,000 in transportation jobs such as bus and taxi drivers
    • 18,000 in personal care, such as barbers and child care workers
    • 16,000 in healthcare support, such as home health aides and nursing assistants

As recently as October 11th, Aldona Wos, our state Health and Human Services Secretary, told the News and Observer's editorial board that you are evaluating options for expansion, and the state's Medicaid program is running a surplus of $63 million.

It is time to move forward and not one step back. We request again a meeting to make this happen and urge you to call for an emergency special session. 

As we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season, let's send a clear and strong signal to the people of North Carolina, our providers, communities, and businesses that we are in this together. 

Yours in the Spirit of Truth and Justice, 

  

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II

President, North Carolina NAACP 

--------------

Dear Speaker Tillis: 

Now that the election is over -- and because during the campaign you and Governor Pat McCrory stated that you were now open to pursuing Medicaid expansion, and willing to call for a special session of the NC General Assembly to provide the venue to make this happen -- it is time to make good on this pledge.

On behalf of the North Carolina NAACP, I ask for an emergency meeting with each of you that would involve clergy, physicians, mayors, health advocates, people being denied, and sadly those who have lost loved ones to discuss how together we can make this a reality.  Not only will expansion bring peace of mind to over 500,000 of our citizens, but also it will begin economic relief to our providers and the communities in which our providers reside.

As we all know there are moral and economic benefits to this expansion:

Economic Benefits: 

  • An August 2014 report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute concluded that, without the expansion, North Carolina stood to lose $39.6 billion in Medicaid funding over the next decade.
  • An August 2014 report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute concluded that, without the expansion, North Carolina hospitals, a major economic engine for dozens of our rural communities would lose $11.3 billion in Medicaid reimbursements. This loss of revenue also forces hospitals to cost-shift this financial loss in terms of higher private sector insurance premiums that small businesses and all of us must pay -- a leading cause of healthcare inflation. 
  • By expanding Medicaid, North Carolina has an opportunity to reduce the cost of uncompensated care, a cost shared by all North Carolina taxpayers. In 2009, the cost of uncompensated medical care in North Carolina was estimated at $2.1 billion. Without the Affordable Care Act, this cost was projected to increase to $4.4 billion by 2019. (Burch, Brenna. "The Medicaid Expansion: A Transformative & Fiscally Sustainable Policy for North Carolina." BTC Brief. August 2012.) 
  • The Regional Economic Model, Inc. estimates that expansion will create 25,000 new jobs by 2016. (Burch, Brenna. "The Medicaid Expansion: A Transformative &Fiscally Sustainable Policy for North Carolina." BTC Brief. August 2012.) 

Moral Benefits: 

  • 23,300 North Carolina veterans would gain healthcare (March 2013 study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute)
  • A recent Families USA report, based on a U.S. Census survey, found that, among the working poor in North Carolina who would be eligible: 
    • 59,000 are employed in construction jobs
    • 56,000 in food service
    • 43,000 in cleaning and maintenance jobs
    • 34,000 in transportation jobs such as bus and taxi drivers
    • 18,000 in personal care, such as barbers and child care workers
    • 16,000 in healthcare support, such as home health aides and nursing assistants

As recently as October 11th, Aldona Wos, our state Health and Human Services Secretary, told the News and Observer's editorial board that you are evaluating options for expansion, and the state's Medicaid program is running a surplus of $63 million.

It is time to move forward and not one step back. We request again a meeting to make this happen and urge you to call for an emergency special session. 

As we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season, let's send a clear and strong signal to the people of North Carolina, our providers, communities, and businesses that we are in this together. 

Yours in the Spirit of Truth and Justice, 

 

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II

President, North Carolina NAACP


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