Editorial: Transcend petty partisan politics and expand Medicaid

Posted October 7, 2016
Updated October 11, 2016

The state NAACP is organizing a rally Dec. 23 of those who are pushing the state to expand Medicaid coverage.

PART 1: In the season of endorsements, Capitol Broadcasting Company is focusing on issues not individuals. Get to know where the candidates stand and vote for those that line up in agreement with the issues we’re outlining in a special series on this page. Political parties and ideologies are irrelevant.

A CBC Editorial: Friday, Oct. 7, 2016; Editorial# 8065
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

Nowhere is there greater evidence of the depths of petty partisan politics than in North Carolina’s stubborn refusal to expand Medicaid.

Voters must elect legislators who WILL EXPAND Medicaid. Any legislator seeking re-election, who opposed expansion in the past and won’t publically promise to back it now, should not be re-elected.

Expanding Medicaid is not extravagant. It is basic. It is a no-brainer. There is no good reason to turn down a deal where the federal government fully funds the Medicaid expansion to provide health insurance to low-income adults for three years and 90 percent of the costs after the initial three years.

While the Republican-dominated General Assembly has stubbornly refused Medicaid expansion – simply because President Barack Obama is for it – the state’s health and economy have suffered.


  • 500,000 low income North Carolinians denied health coverage
  • North Carolinians lose $21 billion in Medicaid federal funding
  • North Carolinians federal tax dollars go to other states to support their Medicaid expansion
  • 43,000 jobs are not created
  • $860 million in state tax revenue is lost.

North Carolina’s 11.1 percent rate of uninsured remains 2 points above the national average. Failure to expand Medicaid is the culprit.

Refusing to expand Medicaid has made it more difficult for hospitals, particularly those in rural communities, to meet expenses. Individuals without health coverage often can’t take advantage of preventive care and delay seeking medical help until conditions are at their worst and treatment is the most expensive.

A study by University of North Carolina researchers found that rural hospitals have a better chance of turning profits if they are in state’s that expanded Medicaid. Three rural hospitals in North Carolina have closed since 2013: Blowing Rock Hospital; Vidant Pungo Hospital in Belhaven; and Yadkin Valley Community Hospital in Yadkinville.

Expanding Medicaid is not expensive – the federal government will pick up 90 percent of the costs. North Carolina has a strong Medicaid system that is recognized as one of the nation’s best – providing quality care while controlling costs. It should be expanded.

Find candidates who support expanding Medicaid and support them with your vote. It is about better health, a better economy and a better North Carolina.


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  • Kevin O'Donnell Oct 13, 2016
    user avatar

    90% of the increase would be picked up by the federal govt.? How does the fed govt. get its money??? In the end, we are paying for this benefit. I am ok with that IF that is a policy decision based on the facts. This article is a bit of "hide the ball"

  • Benjamin Kite Oct 7, 2016
    user avatar

    [R] wants the Obamacare ship to sink. The best way for that to happen is if they bring cups of seawater back into the boat. If they try to help bail the boat out, the ship is less likely to sink. They want to be right about their demand that the ship would sink.

  • Paul Stam Oct 7, 2016
    user avatar

    Briefly, we have already expanded Medicaid in North Carolina by 279,643. And the cost of the full expansion would be paid for by borrowing from China. For a completely response to this editorial, see my letter to the CBC Editorial Board:

    Rep. Paul Stam
    Speaker Pro Tem
    North Carolina House of Representatives

  • Norman Lewis Oct 7, 2016
    user avatar

    If there was not so much massive fraud with Medicaid it would be easier to support expansion. I have knowledge that quite a few of the "poor" use Medicaid coverage to support 24/7 frivolous ER visits for minor issues instead of a Clinic or MD appointment. Medicaid coverage is used to treat smoking and alcohol related health issues caused by the purchase of those illness causing substances facilitated by Government "assistance". Medicaid pays for the irresponsible procreation of babies by Government funded generational dependents. Not everyone on Medicaid is a cheat, fraud or irresponsible but enough are to taint the rest. I thought Obamacare was supposed to solve all these problems. Another liberal failure in itself.

  • Brendan Dillon Oct 7, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    You are misinformed. There is no payback of these funds.

  • Charles Edwards Oct 7, 2016
    user avatar

    Wow. I'm neither a right-winger nor a bleeding heart liberal. It is frustrating to see some of the comments on this board by people who are obviously ignorant of the facts. Especially coming from the 'gentleman' who indicates he will never need something like Medicaid. Folks, have you ever heard the quote, "There, but for the grace of God go I"? You never know what tomorrow will bring. I'm college educated and paid mid 6-figures, have a good life. I've also had major illnesses and also unemployed - sometimes at same time. Luckily my wife was employed. If we are socially responsible and have an ounce of compassion, we MUST provide some sort of safety net when people are down and out. EDUCATE yourselves. Look at the statistics and you will be amazed at what really goes on with Medicaid. Folks that need it would certainly prefer not to need it. We do have x% unemployment in NC. That means x% of people WHO WANT TO FIND JOBS CANNOT FIND JOBS. Not everyone is as lucky as us.

  • Johnathan Doe Oct 7, 2016
    user avatar

    I urge readers to understand how "federal tax dollars" equates to their money. we are 20+trillion in the hole and cannot afford this anymore.

  • Aiden Audric Oct 7, 2016
    user avatar

    I urge readers to understand how Medicaid works. How it is funded. And what the impact on states is.
    "Them there liberals" isn't a very deep insight into how it works, and so many untrue things have already been posted here.

  • Paul Hayeze Oct 7, 2016
    user avatar

    Barney must be back from the coast because all the tin foil hat postings have resumed. It was so quiet that last 48hrs, then all of a sudden....Gee wonder why...

  • Deborah Turner Oct 7, 2016
    user avatar

    We agree. Liberals pushing their agenda with a powerful media company. Could not have put it better Ed,Matt and Nick.