Video: Missing the “Who” in Health Care

This week Real Facts NC launched a documentary series, Missing Us. The series focuses on capturing the effects of legislative decisions on the lives of North Carolinians through storytelling. The first installment highlights Greensboro resident Ali Collins and how, as a Black queer and trans person, his preexisting conditions make it harder for him to access health care. Future installments will cover health care from different perspectives.

On September 11, after telling Democrats and reporters that no votes would occur, Republican House Speaker Tim Moore called for a surprise vote in the House to override a veto of a budget that did not include Medicaid expansion. Most Democratic members were not present. House Republicans now say they’ll move forward with a plan that would expand Medicaid, but by tacking work requirements and premiums onto health care plans.

State policymakers often use data to make decisions about health care. Unfortunately, the passage of the state budget occurred without proper data collection regarding health care. This omission furthers citizens from having their needs taken seriously.

The most recent report on health care accessibility for adults under 50 by Medicaid status was published in 1996, over 20 years ago. Without more recent and accurate data, policymakers cannot make informed decisions about residents’ needs, especially residents who were excluded in the past. Without more accurate data, residents like Collins are likely to face more barriers to care.  Moreover, North Carolina ranks in the bottom third among states in measures of overall health. Without more accurate data and accountability, residents’ needs will continue to be ignored by NC’s Republican leaders.

The veto override vote showed that Republican House leaders are determined to “win” at the expense of their constituents and North Carolinians are feeling the repercussions. People like Collins are left behind, rural hospitals are closing or at risk of closing, and managed care services have been delayed. With no money for adequate health care provision or guidance, the people most affected will continued to be missed.

View the full series here.