The NC Institutes of Medicine has released a report noting that minorities are being hit hard by the refusal of McCrory and the Republicans refusal to expand Medicaid coverage in the state.
According to KFF, it was estimated that at the end of 2012, the majority of uninsured, non-elderly persons in North Carolina were minorities – 44 percent Hispanic and 21 percent black – compared with 15 percent of whites.
By not expanding Medicaid, “North Carolina has been left out of a major health program,” said Victor Schoenbach, an epidemiology professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. “There is no additional revenue for the state. North Carolina is forgoing millions in revenue and potentially offering fewer jobs in health care than expected.”
Schoenbach said that many who work in public health believe a Medicaid expansion will help outcomes in minority communities. As an example, he pointed to the availability of additional health screenings, which could lead to earlier detection of chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.
The decision makes no economic sense.
Of the 19 states that did not expand Medicaid, about five are said to be reconsidering that decision in time for the new enrollment dates in November. North Carolina is not among those states having that conversation. And that, some public-health experts have said, is a mistake.
“Essentially, it’s a matter of do we pay now or pay later?” Howard said. “Do we want to invest in preventive care and detection or have hospitals go bankrupt because of unpaid bills that patients with catastrophic illness cannot afford to pay?”