Part 1: These Democrats voted against Medicaid expansion - here's what their vote cost their districts
Rep. Cecil Brockman’s district received more than $2.7M in nonrecurring funds in the 2019 budget but could have benefitted from $683M in increased economic activity and $7.7M in increased tax revenue by 2022 with Medicaid expansion. 35,194 more people in Guilford county could have health care by 2022 if Medicaid were expanded.
Rep. Howard Hunter voted for a Republican budget that contained $100K in one-time grant money for his district. Meanwhile, Medicaid expansion would bring in $30M in increased economic activity and $304K in tax revenue by 2022.
Rep. Elmer Floyd’s district received nearly $1.4M in nonrecurring funds in the 2019 Republican budget, but Medicaid expansion would bring $141M more in economic activity to his district. 18,451 people in Cumberland county could have health care by 2022 under Medicaid expansion.
Medicaid expansion benefits everyone, but especially rural North Carolinians, veterans, and people with mental illness or substance use disorders. If North Carolina expanded Medicaid, everyone’s premiums would become less expensive, benefitting North Carolinians at all income levels. If North Carolina expanded Medicaid and closed the coverage gap it would give more than 634,000 people access to affordable health care by 2022. Because NC taxpayers currently pay federal taxes that cover health care costs in other states, NC is forfeiting that money by not expanding Medicaid.
The 4 out of 10 people who call NC’s rural counties home face hospital closures and declining employment opportunities; Medicaid expansion would help solve these issues. More than 13,000 jobs could be brought to rural counties if Medicaid was expanded. North Carolina lost four rural hospitals since Republicans took control in 2010. When a hospital leaves a community, so do other health care specialists. Greater travel time to hospitals is associated with higher mortality, especially for heart patients and trauma patients.
Veterans are more likely to experience homelessness or suffer from multiple chronic illnesses; Medicaid expansion in NC would help at least 23,000 gain coverage not provided by the VA. Not all veterans have access to health care through the VA; 1 in 4 people who served in Iraq or Afghanistan are without coverage.
Medicaid expansion will provide access to care for more than 150,000 North Carolinians with mental illness or substance use disorders. Roughly half of the overdose survivors taken to emergency rooms in NC in 2017 were uninsured.
Read part one of the full report here.