To the Editor:
North Carolina has one of the highest rates of uninsured people in the country. Thankfully, our elected officials can change that by passing Medicaid expansion that will benefit 600,000 of our fellow citizens.
Years ago, my husband suffered a severe injury that required over a year of hospitalization and rehabilitation. Every day, I met and spoke with worried caregivers who did not know if they could afford continued care for their loved ones. These conversations made me wonder what happened to people who had no insurance. Due to no fault of their own, they faced a downward spiral of hardship, lost wages, pain, and enduring disability.
My husband returned to work within two years of his accident, and he worked for over a dozen years before retiring. He paid taxes, contributed talent, and gave back to his community because he received adequate medical care. Why would anyone deny this care to others? Healthy citizens are the foundation of a healthy workforce.
Thirty-eight states have already expanded Medicaid including states like Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Indiana. By doing so these states have been able to stabilize their private health insurance costs and lower healthcare costs overall. In addition, Congress offered a $2 billion incentive to our state to expand Medicaid. During this year’s session, I urge Rep. Bobby Hanig and Senator Bob Steinburg to close our state’s coverage gap once and for all.