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ICYMI: Without Medicaid Expansion, North Carolina Uninsured Rates Will “Soar”

A report from the Urban Institute found that the percent of newly unemployed people who will lose health insurance during the pandemic in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid will be almost twice as high compared to states who have. 

In non-expansion states like North Carolina, their model predicted that, “of the 6 million who have lost employer-sponsored health insurance, 2.4 million, or 40 percent, could find themselves uninsured.” 

As Speaker of the North Carolina House, Thom Tillis blocked Medicaid expansion, paving the way for Republican legislators in North Carolina to stand in the way of Governor Cooper expanding Medicaid today. Even as the coronavirus has left millions unemployed and forced off their employer coverage, Senate Leader Phil Berger said this week that Medicaid expansion is still off the table

Now more than ever, North Carolina needs to expand Medicaid and help close the growing coverage gap. That is why Cal Cunningham called for a Medicaid expansion incentive in the next coronavirus relief package, which would allow states like North Carolina to receive a 100 percent federal match regardless of when they expand.

Unlike Thom Tillis, who is allowing the administration to move forward with a lawsuit that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a global pandemic, Cal Cunningham will fight to protect and improve the critical health care law that has saved lives. 

Read more about the report below.

NC Policy Watch: Report: uninsured rate will soar in states that have not expanded Medicaid

By William Munn – May 19, 2020

Key points:

  • The percentage of newly unemployed people who lose insurance in states who haven’t expanded Medicaid, like North Carolina, will be almost twice as high as states who have expanded Medicaid.
  • More than 30 million Americans and a million North Carolinians have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 crisis. 
  • Unemployment still continues to rise with some economists predicting the jobless rate could reach 30%
  • Because most health insurance comes from employment, the massive unemployment will have a detrimental impact on NC health care. 
  • North Carolina has an estimated loss of 550,000 for employer-sponsored health insurance plans.
  • The Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation published a model that predicted the loss of employer-sponsored health insurance under different national unemployment rates. 
  • The model found that in non-expansion states, like North Carolina, 40% of unemployed people could become uninsured during the middle of a public health crisis. 
  • In addition to preventing more than 500,000 people from access to quality healthcare, refusing to expand Medicaid has led to rural hospitals closing and an over-reliance on hospitals as primary care.