Letters to the Editor

Eleanor Kinnaird: Medicaid expansion means more jobs

Regarding the Dec. 27 Point of View “ Why Medicaid expansion won’t boost N.C. jobs”: Brian Balfour argued that Medicaid won’t work in North Carolina because we don’t have enough doctors.

He disputed the George Washington University research that finds that expanding Medicaid would create 43,000 jobs in the next five years. He contended that there will not be enough doctors to provide care to the thousands who would be covered by the expansion.

What Balfour ignored is that it is not more doctors who are needed for primary care, but physicians assistants, nurse practitioners and trained front-line screeners who are already a growing workforce in our state.

Other jobs will come from the small hospitals that are closing because of the cut-off of Medicaid that serve their populations and those that will fail without the expansion.

Many of the 43,000 jobs are the technicians and support staff that make up a functioning health care system as well as the ripple effect of local jobs that serve the hospitals in our rural communities.

Finally, our medical schools need to step up and increase their student enrollment.

More states that originally turned down Medicaid expansion have realized their mistake and are signing up. North Carolina needs to do the same.

Eleanor Kinnaird

Chapel Hill