Regarding the recent discussion of whether to expand Medicaid coverage to an additional 500,000 residents: The legislature and governor have taken the position not to accept federal funds (100 percent for three years, 90 percent through 2020). Why? Because of a lack of confidence in the federal government’s ability to honor its financial commitments, and because the current Medicaid program is “broken” according to the findings of a recent state audit.
Whether or not the federal government will meet its financial obligations, no one can say. But wouldn’t a more reasonable approach be to accept funds while they are available – funds that our residents as federal taxpayers are entitled to and fix the Medicaid program?
Wouldn’t this be the perfect challenge for our new governor – to play to his strengths – to apply his business acumen to reform the N.C. Medicaid program and turn it into a model of efficiency and excellent health care? He could bring to bear the best managers, accountants, auditors and HR personnel, and along with N.C.’s talented health care professionals, make N.C. a model for the rest of the country – at the same time extending medical care to a vast number of our most vulnerable citizens.