They came recently to North Carolina’s historic state Capitol, home of the ceremonial office of the governor and the symbol of government of, by and for the people in this state. And they asked for that government to be for the people. It was a simple request, in this case focused on the need to expand Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the poor and disabled.
This group, standing outside the building with signs, is called MomsRising.org, one of a number of organizations that want Gov. Pat McCrory to expand Medicaid, which the state could do at no expense. Under the Affordable Care Act, states are allowed to expand Medicaid coverage to a broader group of citizens, those who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid under current rules and yet make too little to get help from the Affordable Care Act.
In North Carolina, it’s expansion would provide access to health insurance for perhaps half a million residents, including many children.
The federal government would pay the entire cost of expansion – the entire cost – for up to three years, and 90 percent of the cost thereafter.
The governor should come out in favor of Medicaid expansion, because it is the right thing to do, and let GOP legislative leaders hold what is going to be a very heavy political bag in the next election.