Just a few days after his midnight swearing-in, new Governor Roy Cooper tells a public audience today that he wants to bypass state law and ask the feds to expand North Carolina’s already over-crowded Medicaid program.
Gov. Roy Cooper says he wants to expand Medicaid immediately, defying a state law.
Talking to a group of business leaders at an economic forum on Wednesday morning, the Democratic governor said he would file an amendment by Friday asking the federal government to amend the state Medicaid plan.
North Carolina’s Medicaid program has added more than 600,000 people in the last dozen years. At the same time, the number of NC physicians treating Medicaid patients has fallen.Expansion, by some estimates, would add another 400,000 to 500,000 to the Medicaid rolls. That would mean a million new Medicaid enrollees since 2001 – chasing fewer doctors. And of those who do accept Medicaid patients, one-fourth of them are not accepting new Medicaid patients.This is not politics or ideology – this is simple math. Medicaid expansion in NC would not provide access to medical care to the new enrollees, it would simply give them a Medicaid card with little to no hope of actually seeing a doctor when they are sick.
The bottom line: Medicaid expansion would mean higher taxes, fewer jobs and up to 500,000 North Carolinians (mostly single, able-bodied) packed into a subpar healthcare program with little access to care.