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Medicaid expansion is common sense

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Friday, February 8, 2019

I read Representative Greg Murphy’s column regarding his “common sense” solution to the problem of the uninsured in North Carolina.

Murphy would have you believe that his proposed Carolina Cares bill is not Medicaid expansion. Even though his bill would utilize tax money from North Carolinians that is currently going to other states that expanded Medicaid, his bill is Medicaid expansion with a catch … a work requirement.

Now I am not against a work requirement for those that can work. But let’s be clear, Murphy’s Carolina Cares will provide health insurance for about 300,000 North Carolinians, and the plan would have to be approved by the federal government. Removing the work requirement would provide insurance for about 600,000 North Carolinians, and the expansion could happen sooner, meaning many more people will have coverage sooner.

Regarding the “common sense” issue raised by Murphy, 90 percent of the cost of Medicaid expansion is paid by federal taxes, which North Carolinians will continue to pay whether we accept Medicaid expansion or not. Common sense says that we accept a program that we are already paying for. Common sense says that Medicaid expansion will provide paying customers to Vidant Medical Center and to the Brody School of Medicine, not to mention the small, rural hospitals of eastern North Carolina. Common sense says that people with health insurance are healthier. Healthy people are more likely to work and pay taxes.

We need more common sense and less political rhetoric. North Carolina is one of the few states that has not expanded Medicaid. For the health of our citizens and for the prosperity of our state, I urge our legislature to put your constituents first. Expand Medicaid, and get politics out of the process.

Paul Cook

Greenville

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