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RALEIGH, NC — While Senator Thom Tillis continues to defend his record blocking Medicaid expansion this week, Cal Cunningham is continuing his call for expansion, including a bill being debated on the Senate floor today that would would restore the full federal match for states that have not yet expanded Medicaid, like North Carolina.
In May, Cal Cunningham called for the next COVID-19 relief package to include an incentive for states that have not yet expanded Medicaid to do so saying: “North Carolinians are facing unprecedented health and economic challenges — challenges that underscore the long overdue need to expand Medicaid in North Carolina. 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.”
Tillis continues to stand behind his decision to block Governor Cooper from expanding Medicaid today, preventing 634,000 people — and likely even more as North Carolinians lose their jobs and health care — from receiving health coverage. Years later, he said in an interview this week he does not regret his decision, even bragging about it as recently as last summer.
Red and blue states alike have worked to close the coverage gap in their state by adopting Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act. And amid the COVID-19 crisis, that decision offers a tremendous lifeline for those out of work. A Families U.S.A. report found that in states that have not expanded Medicaid, the percentage of laid-off workers that became uninsured nearly doubled compared to states that had expanded Medicaid.
In an interview with WRAL yesterday, Cal Cunningham expressed the urgent need to expand the safety net in the next stimulus package, including the Medicaid expansion incentive.“My North Star, as it is now, as it would be in the U.S. Senate, is the voices of North Carolinians…I’m hearing about the need for us to provide and the opportunity for the federal government to provide another little kick for us to expand Medicaid in this state by reinstating 100 percent cost share while we’re in this crisis.”