WASHINGTON — This week commemorates the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which gave millions of uninsured people the opportunity to gain coverage through Medicaid. While Republicans at every level of government have done everything in their power to dismantle the ACA, Medicaid is now being relied upon as a critical tool to fight the coronavirus. While most states in the nation have already expanded Medicaid, North Carolina Republicans blocked Medicaid expansion last session, effectively denying care for hundreds of thousands of people in the state.
The GOP had the opportunity to give an estimated 357,000 uninsured North Carolinians health care — instead, they refused to negotiate with Democrats. Three in four adults who would be eligible to gain coverage through Medicaid expansion are living below the poverty line and need coverage most during this crisis. When given the opportunity to better prepare their state for a public health crisis, Republicans put politics over the health and well being of North Carolinians.
“Last session, Republicans could have given hundreds of thousands of people in North Carolina access to health care,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “Instead, they played politics with people’s lives. Their irresponsible stonewalling cost over 300,000 people in North Carolina the ability to be covered in a pandemic. More than ever, access to affordable care is critical and it’s unconscionable that Republicans denied their constituents that opportunity.”
The North Carolina House and Senate are top targets for the DLCC in its $50 million Flip Everything campaign to win legislative majorities across the country. Since Trump’s election, the DLCC and state Democrats have flipped more than 430 seats and 10 legislative chambers from red to blue.
“The GOP must fix this immediately and work with Democrats to pass Medicaid as soon as possible,” added Post. “If they fail again, we have no doubt that voters will remember that they are culpable for lack of access to care in a national emergency. Republicans have been responsible for delaying Medicaid expansion for far too long — it’s time to hold them accountable.”