During yesterday’s presentation of Governor McCrory’s 2015-2017 state budget, State Budget Director Lee Roberts mentioned that 76 percent of new spending in the budget’s first year is allocated towards education and Medicaid.
Medicaid, a jointly funded entitlement program that offers medical benefits to certain low income patients and children, takes up two-thirds of the Department of Health and Human Services, 18 percent of the General Fund, and well over a quarter of total state and federal funds. I have written before on how this program is bankrupting the nation.
If North Carolina were to expand Medicaid, it has been projected that taxpayers would have to shoulder an additional $3 billion over the next decade. Rather than diverting resources from children, the elderly, blind and disabled to able-bodied childless adults, the General Assembly is focused on reforming the current Medicaid system to control costs, administer services more efficiently, and improve patient health outcomes. More importantly, legislators should continue to be thinking about how to reduce government dependence and how to relax regulations that will make medical care more affordable for both the insured and uninsured. As of now, 18 percent of North Carolina citizens are Medicaid recipients.