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NC Medicaid Expansion: A Political Loser Then and Now

Really interesting piece from Carolina Journal’s Investigative Political Analyst Dallas Woodhouse, who looks at why Medicaid expansion was, and is, a political loser. Here’s a taste, as Woodhouse looks at why this will impact every single North Carolinian.

A poll this spring obtained by Carolina Journal showed 64% of N.C. Republican primary voters opposed Medicaid expansion while only 28% supported expansion.

Republicans in the State House and Senate have agreed in principle to a budget deal. While we don’t know the details yet, House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger have led their chambers to find GOP common ground on overall spending, state worker pay increases, the scope and structure of tax cuts, as well as many other issues that make up the state’s more than $20 billion budget.

“Now heavy lifting begins to see if acceptable changes for all can be made so Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper will sign a final proposal,” Berger spokesperson Pat Ryan wrote in an email to the Associated Press. “Final budget negotiations with Gov. Cooper will now begin in earnest.”

The battle over Medicaid expansion has consumed the state capital for several years. Cooper refused to sign a budget in 2019-2020 in large part because Republicans refused to expand Medicaid. While some budget adjustments were made, North Carolina has been without a fully updated comprehensive budget since July 2019.

Both sides decided to take the issue to voters in 2020, and Cooper and Democrats lost in state House and state Senate races where Medicaid was a key factor.

Read it all – and watch the political ads about Medicaid expansion.

Donna Martinez / Senior Writer and Editor

Donna came to the John Locke Foundation in January 2003 after freelance writing for Carolina Journal and contributing to projects for the North Carolina Education Alliance. He...