My brother, who would have turned 60 in July, died unexpectedly in Indiana on New Year’s Day. He was laid off during the recession, and there were few jobs in the rural area where he lived and where I grew up. Thus, he joined the population of the long-term unemployed without health insurance. I couldn’t talk him into moving to North Carolina for a while so I could help look after him as he understandably couldn’t bear to leave his grandchildren.
It wasn’t until a few days after my brother’s death that Gov. Mike Pence announced that Indiana would expand Medicaid. Would that have changed the outcome for our family? We’ll never know, but having regular access to primary care would have gone a long way to help my brother manage severe diabetes.
However, I am not one to wallow in bitterness. Rather, I am grateful for Indiana’s Medicaid expansion so that going forward other Hoosiers will have the health care they need to prevent or at least more successfully manage serious chronic illnesses.
When will N.C. policymakers see the light?
Brenda Cleary, Cary