Attorney General Roy Cooper says state should expand Medicaid

Posted by Lynn Bonner on November 18, 2013 

State Attorney General Roy Cooper said the state should reconsider its decision to not expand Medicaid, saying Republicans “put politics over policy” to deny the state financial benefits and working poor people health insurance.

Speaking to reporters and journalism students at UNC-Chapel Hill on Monday, Cooper enumerated his disagreements with the GOP-run legislature and Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. The differences are many, but he called the decision not to expand Medicaid, the government insurance for the poor, elderly and disabled, “the most perplexing decision of all.”

Cooper, a Democrat planning a run for governor in 2016, hit many of the pro-expansion talking points: the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost of expansion in the first three years, expansion would add jobs, and more people would have health insurance.

After three years. federal support would drop gradually to 90 percent by 2020.

The state Republican Party blasted Cooper, calling him an “Obamacare supporter” who wants to raise taxes.

“What Roy Cooper refuses to tell North Carolinians is that while the federal government would provide funding for the first few years of Medicaid expansion, the burden would then immediately shift to the hardworking taxpayers of North Carolina. Roy Copper is not so subtly telling North Carolinians he wants to raise their taxes and cut essential services,” state GOP spokesman Daniel Keylin said in a statement.

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