Letter to the Editor: On the Health and Economic Benefits of Medicaid Expansion – The Coastland Times

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For the editor:

North Carolina has one of the highest rates of uninsured people in the country. Fortunately, our elected officials can change that by embracing Medicaid expansion that will benefit 600,000 of our fellow citizens.

Years ago, my husband suffered a serious injury that required over a year of hospitalization and rehabilitation. Every day I met and spoke with worried caregivers who were unsure if they could continue caring for their loved ones. These conversations made me wonder what happens to people who don’t have insurance. Through no fault of their own, they faced a downward spiral of hardship, lost wages, pain and persistent disability.

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My husband returned to work within two years of his accident, and worked for over a dozen years before retiring. He paid taxes, contributed his 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 were able to stabilize their private health insurance costs and reduce health care costs overall. Additionally, Congress has offered our state a $2 billion incentive 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.

Rosemary Rawlins

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