As a cardiovascular researcher, I read Ned Barnett’s July 10 column “To save more infants, expand Medicaid” with great interest.
The article focused on babies, and that’s good because high infant mortality is a very real issue in North Carolina, and we all perk up and pay attention whenever the conversation turns to babies. And we certainly need to pay attention to this issue.
Medicaid expansion matters to all of us, not just to our residents earning below 138 percent of the federal poverty level who fall into the “coverage gap.”
Medicaid expansion would provide solutions to multiple problems in our state. An obvious benefit is the prevention and treatment of potentially chronic health conditions and controlling the higher health care costs associated with them.
But in addition to affecting half a million people who lack adequate health insurance, covering the uninsured helps all North Carolinians with private health insurance by lowering costs for everyone.
We would also create jobs and bring billions in federal funding to the state. I concur with Barnett that we have hundreds of thousands of reasons to expand Medicaid. We, all the residents of our state, are the reasons!
Sandra E. Burke