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On The 50th Anniversary Of Medicaid And Medicare, Congresswoman Adams Urges Governor McCrory To Expand Medicaid In North Carolina

Jul 31, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – On the 50th anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare, Congresswoman Alma S. Adams (NC-12) today sent a letter urging North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to expand Medicaid in North Carolina. Through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states across the country were able to expand Medicaid coverage for those with incomes under 133 percent of the federal poverty level.  Twenty-two states, including North Carolina, refused to expand coverage, preventing more than 319,000 North Carolinians from receiving quality and affordable health insurance.

“Medicaid and Medicare are fundamental programs that have transformed our nation; enhancing access to health care for millions of Americans,” said Congresswoman Adams. “50 years after Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law, even more Americans are able to access quality insurance through the Affordable Care Act.”

Congresswoman Adams continued, “The Affordable Care Act is working and is helping millions of Americans get the care they need. Today, more than 407,000 North Carolinians now have access to care, but more than 319,000 additional North Carolinians would benefit if Medicaid was expanded. As someone who grew up without access to healthcare, I understand what a difference it can make and believe it should be available to as many Americans as possible. From providing access to preventable care to affordable prescriptions, Medicaid expansion is a God-send for so many and boosts our economy. I urge Governor McCrory to put politics aside and put North Carolinians first, by expanding Medicaid in our great state.”

In her letter to Governor McCrory, Congresswoman Adams wrote, “Without expanding Medicaid, adults living in poverty with no child in the household, along with parents with incomes above 45 percent of the federal poverty level will not have access to affordable health care.  This is particularly problematic because North Carolina has one of the highest rates of uninsured adults in the country, standing at 24 percent. Further, Medicaid has proven to have a positive impact on a state’s economy. For instance, in North Carolina, in 2015, Mecklenburg County will miss out on more than 3,000 jobs and $2.9 million in county tax revenue. Additionally, Guilford County will miss out on more than 2,000 jobs and $1.67 million in tax revenue if the state does not expand Medicaid. Simply put, if given the chance, Medicaid expansion will help drive the economy.”

Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. These programs provide low-income individuals, particularly seniors and the disabled, with enhanced access to medical services, prescriptions, and preventable care.  The programs cover the cost of medical expenses that many low-income individuals would not be able to afford.   

Full text of Congresswoman Adams’ letter to Governor McCrory is attached.