As the state budget impasse continues, Gov. Roy Cooper has held firm in his insistence that any budget he signs must include Medicaid expansion.
Part of his advocacy for MedEx includes a reference to a website called healthcarecantwait.org, for example in this press release:
To see for each individual county how many people would get coverage, how many jobs are created and the amount of economic activity go to healthcarecantwait.org
The website Cooper references appears to be a product of the left-wing group NC Child, and its three main bullet point are highly misleading.
- Hundreds of thousands of North Carolina families will finally be able to see a doctor when they need one.
This claim is incredibly misleading and irresponsible speculation at best. Medicaid expansion is estimated to cover 500,000 new enrollees. But according to a Foundation for Government Accountability analysis of Census Bureau data, 63 percent of newly-eligible North Carolinians under Medicaid expansion are currently covered by private insurance, so they are not only already covered but have access to a doctor.
More to the point, however, is the question that Medicaid expansion advocates never answer: Medicaid has already added a million new enrollees since 2003, a time when fewer physicians are accepting Medicaid patients, who will treat the additional half a million expansion enrollees? North Carolina’s Medicaid program is already overcrowded, expansion means that it will be exceedingly difficult for new enrollees to “see a doctor when they need one.”
- Our state will see an increase in economic growth and job creation
This myth of Medicaid expansion job creation has been debunked several times, most recently here. Suffice it to say, the “studies” purporting to show job growth due to expansion are highly unscientific, rigged to get the desired outcome, and are funded by special interests that stand to gain from expansion.
- We will bring our tax money home from Washington, D.C.
This is patently and absurdly false. The federal government is $22 trillion in debt and running annual deficits at a rate of $1 trillion per year. Every new dollar spent on North Carolina Medicaid expansion will add to the national debt, likely either borrowed from China or monetized by the Federal Reserve. It will not be bringing “our tax money home from Washington DC,” but likely borrowed from foreign creditors.