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RALEIGH, NC — Cal Cunningham is calling for the next COVID-19 relief package to include an incentive for states that have not yet expanded Medicaid to do so.
In North Carolina, Medicaid expansion would extend coverage to more than 634,000 people and provide a lifeline to rural hospitals across the state struggling to stay open. Thom Tillis blocked Medicaid expansion as Speaker of the North Carolina House and recently bragged about making it illegal to expand Medicaid in the state. Today’s pandemic puts that choice under a microscope, as thousands have died, millions have lost jobs, and a disproportionate number of deaths among people of color have underscored the health disparities that persist.
“North Carolinians are facing unprecedented health and economic challenges — challenges that underscore the long overdue need to expand Medicaid in North Carolina,” said Cal Cunningham. “During a global pandemic that has infected thousands in our state and cost even more their jobs, the need to expand this safety net to help the most people we can has never been more urgent.”
Cal has been a vocal proponent for expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina before COVID-19 hit the United States, and in the months since.
Legislation introduced in the Senate would give states that have not expanded Medicaid an additional incentive to do so, by giving them the 100 percent federal match regardless of when they expand. A similar effort was introduced in the House. Cal supports including provisions like these in the next COVID-19 relief package in hopes of encouraging more states, including North Carolina, to expand the program.
Cal’s campaign is following recommendations of health officials and Gov. Cooper, postponing in-person events and teleworking. Click here for the most up-to-date information about North Carolina’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the North Carolina Division of Health and Human Services or call 866-462-3821.