Close the Health Coverage Gap, North Carolinians Tell State Lawmakers
RALEIGH, NC – With health coverage for about half a million low-income North Carolinians at stake as the state legislature considers expanding Medicaid, MomsRising and the Health Action NC coalition organized a powerful Statewide Day of Action today that is raising the voices of state residents in support of closing the coverage gap. North Carolinians are personally delivering storybooks that relay the experiences of state residents who are without health coverage to every state legislator today. Legislators will also receive fact sheets, and umbrellas decorated by children that remind them that “Medicaid helps families weather the storm.”
“Medicaid helps families weather the storm during times of need – whether it be during a health care crisis or a time of financial hardship,” said Felicia Burnett, senior campaign director for health care at MomsRising. “But in North Carolina, lawmakers have yet to make this critical and often life-saving program available to about half a million low-income uninsured adults. That needs to change -- now. North Carolina moms and families need and deserve health coverage. Expanding Medicaid would save lives and improve the health of our communities.”
Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government set aside billions of dollars for each state to extend health care coverage to people living in or near poverty. Yet lawmakers in North Carolina have not taken advantage of these resources, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without the health coverage and care they need.
Among the stories featured in the book:
Christina in McLeansville wrote, “My Mother is uninsured. She is an amazing grandmother and would give the coat off her back to help another. For the past couple of years she has not been able to work due to medical issues and doesn't have medical insurance coverage.”
Judith in Charlotte wrote, “My husband is a transportation worker and cannot afford coverage. He was recently ill and ended up in the Emergency Room. I don't even want to know what the bills will be, and he was recommended to see a specialist, which we cannot afford. So, his health concern is untreated.”
"In addition to the activities at the legislature in Raleigh, thousands of advocates across the state are calling and emailing their state legislators today,” Burnett added. “Most of the North Carolinians who would be Medicaid-eligible if our state were to expand the program are adults who are employed and work in retail, food preparation, hospitality, service industries, and agriculture. Our state’s economy relies heavily on these individuals, and they deserve to have access to the care they need and to be able to see a doctor when they get sick.”
Today’s Statewide Day of Action is hosted by: MomsRising/MamásConPoder; NC Justice Center; Down Home North Carolina; North Carolina Council of Churches; NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina; Carolina Jews for Justice; NC NOW; Working America - North Carolina; NC AIDS Action Network; Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy; NC Child and Health Care Justice – NC.