Durham council backs expanding Medicaid

August 5, 2013 

— A resolution calling on the state to accept federal money for Medicaid expansion won City Council’s unanamous endorsement Monday.

The resolution urges Gov. Pat McCrory and the state legislature to reverse their decision to refuse the federal funding.

The resolution states that an estimated 18 percent of Durham County residents are uninsured, and Medicaid expansion under the federal Affordable Care Act would provide insurance for more than 500,000 state residents and save the state about $65 million.

Gov. Pat McCrory has said he would not consider expanding Medicaid until the state repairs the system he described as “broken.”

Speaking at a rally prior to the council meeting, Durham physician’s assistant Perri Morgan took exception to McCrory’s description of the state’s Medicaid system as “broken.”

“North Carolina’s Medicaid program is a model for the nation. … A beacon,” he said.

Morgan was among an estimated 40 to 50 members of N.C. Medical Professionals for Expanded Health Access who gathered outside City Hall.

“We do the public a disservice if we don’t make it very clear that it is an injustice to not expand Medicaid in North Carolina,” said Howard Eisenson, chief medical officer at Lincoln Community Health Center.

Staff writer Jim Wise

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