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Posted by The Charlotte Post on Monday, March 7, 2016

Opinion

Federal repeal and Medicaid cuts shift burdens to states
Rollbacks would devastate North Carolinians
 
Published Friday, September 1, 2017 1:15 am
by By N.C. Rep. Rodney Moore

Thanks to massive grassroots mobilization efforts, our state narrowly averted disaster when Congress failed to pass any version of Affordable Care Act repeal that would have restructured Medicaid and  left thousands of my constituents without healthcare coverage.  


Stopping healthcare repeal was a huge victory for working families, seniors, people with disabilities, children and all North Carolinians, but the fight is not over yet.  Even deeper cuts to Medicaid have been proposed in the Republican FY2018 Budget Resolution, which would slash healthcare by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years to pay for billions in tax breaks to the rich and corporations over that same period.


As a state legislator, I worry that these cuts would not only have a devastating impact on families in my district, but that they would have dangerous long-term consequences for state budgets and our local economy.  Medicaid represents the single largest source of federal funding to our state. Loss of that funding because of federal caps, block grants, and cuts would shift costs back to the state, creating a tremendous burden for our state budget. Moreover, Medicaid cuts would put healthcare in competition with other key priorities like public education, transportation, and housing.


In 2015, North Carolina received nearly $9 billion of federal Medicaid funding. Per capita caps would gradually shrink that amount, forcing states either to find alternative sources of funding, cut coverage and services for enrollees, or cut other state-funded services to free up resources for healthcare.


These cuts would impact the people in our state who depend most on Medicaid: seniors, children and people with disabilities.  In North Carolina, more than 1.9 million people depend on Medicaid including 187,000 seniors, more than 300,000 people with disabilities, and more than 50,000 veterans. Medicaid also provides healthcare for more than a million children – that’s 3 in every 7 of children in our state – and pays for 65,000 births in our state, more than half of babies born here.


Seniors would also be particularly hard hit since Medicaid is the leading payer of long-term care services for the aging and disabled at home, in the community, and in nursing homes. Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of these services. More than 1 in 7 low-income seniors enrolled in Medicare (or 6.9 million people aged 65-plus) also rely on Medicaid for their health and long-term care, including 335,000 in North Carolina alone.


And the need for Medicaid is only growing. The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060, and the AARP Public Policy Institute projects a 12 percent increase in per person spending in Medicaid.   

Nationally, Medicaid’s administrative costs are less than half that of private insurers, making it a good deal for states and the federal government.  Far from increasing flexibility for states as GOP leaders in Congress assert, federal cuts or caps in Medicaid would leave state lawmakers with few options for providing critical services to the most vulnerable populations or for managing the growing healthcare needs of a rapidly aging population.

In fact, federal proposals to repeal the ACA and eliminate expansion of Medicaid significantly reduce flexibility for states by taking away the opportunity to finally cover the uninsured through increased federal funding. Around 220,000 people in our state remain without any source of healthcare because of the failure to expand Medicaid driven by the same partisan politics that are fueling federal attacks on the ACA, Medicaid and even Medicare. A majority of these uninsured adults are in working households but can’t afford private coverage.  Nearly half a million of the uninsured in North Carolina would be eligible for coverage under an expanded Medicaid program.

Given the tenacity of the GOP in opposing the ACA and expansions of Medicaid, we can expect that Republican efforts to dismantle healthcare will continue to resurface in the federal budget proposal, negotiations around the re-authorization of CHIP, the coming continuing resolution debate and elsewhere. But the public doesn’t support repeal or cuts to Medicaid and definitely doesn’t support cutting heathcare to give tax breaks to the rich and corporations.

Like many of my fellow lawmakers, I became an elected official to serve my constituents and make life better for the people of my district. It’s time to stop the partisan bickering and political games in Congress and start governing for the people we all represent.


Rodney Moore of Charlotte represents North Carolina House District 99.

Comments

If you can read properly, I stated "many in a class not of their own doing" which to an educated person means that I am NOT including those "disabled and poor children" or children at all! Social Security disability automatically qualifies one for Medicare (better than Medicaid) for a minimal withdrawal from the SS. Do your homework before your knee jerk reactions.
Posted on September 2, 2017
 
That's right, those disabled people and poor children should just go get jobs or die and quit costing the "good" people money. I hope that medical debt forces you ( first commentor) into bankruptcy, and then a selfish, narrow-minded person tells you to work harder.
Posted on September 1, 2017
 
Why should the rich be taxed to pay for healthcare for your poor constituents? This is "the land of opportunity." No where has it ever been accepted that we are a communist country that makes the rich give to the poor. The rich didn't just sit on their hind ends and get rich. They did this thing called get an education(yes, anyone can get a student loan) and WORK. So to heck with people like you that want to take my money because we have poor people. Every country has classes of people. Many in a class not of their own doing; but many there because they "expect" that the rich should take care of them. Bull. And their reps, like you, continue to foster and feed that belief, just so you can stay in office. how much do you give? I pay my taxes, in full. That is enough!
Posted on September 1, 2017
 

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