Re: Expanding Medicaid in North Carolina

BH Media’s northern bureau covers a forum at Rockingham Community College —-sponsored by the North Carolina Justice Center—on the expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina.

As reported by the paper, the majority of speakers were in favor of Medicaid expansion and some became emotional:

“This is about basic human dignity,’’ said Dr. Stephen Luking, who spoke at a Rockingham Community College forum sponsored by the North Carolina Justice Center, a Raleigh nonprofit.

Luking described how scores of his 5,000 patients are in dire need of Medicaid.

“And more selfishly, it’s about the economic good that arises when we promote the physical and mental health of all of our residents, not just those who are inside the system,’’ said Luking, who opened his practice 25 years ago.

….Growing emotional as he described uninsured patients who have skipped treatments, appointments and discontinued vital medications, Luking said he lost two uninsured patients last year to opioid overdoses.

“Unfortunately, our North Carolina politicians decided and voted to deny expansion of Medicaid coverage to the working poor of our state,’’ he said. “Because of this misguided decision, I continue to see many folks frozen out of our health care system.’’

This is not to say that there were not people at the forum who spoke against Medicaid expansion–perhaps the paper just did not include them in the article. (Emphasis on perhaps.) It just so happens, however, that JLF’s Jordan Roberts makes the case against expanding Medicaid. One thing that never seems to be mentioned–especially among those politicians advocating “Medicare for All”—those who really need Medicare/Medicaid will be forced to compete for healthcare with young, able-bodied, childless individuals. What sense does that make?

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...

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