Health insurance coverage for a half-million North Carolinians

It's beyond lunacy, but it's in the process of happening. The NC General Assembly (our esteemed legislature), under GOP domination, is about to approve legislation denying health insurance coverage to 500,000 North Carolina citizens.

Not only would NC taxpayers NOT be charged extra for this coverage, but it would bring in a half-BILLION federal dollars to the NC economy in 2014 alone. Hospitals, especially rural ones in the toughest economic status, are desperate for this help.

So: Humanitarianism, check; economic rationality, check. But not Ideologically Correct for the radical right ideologues who currently drive state policy.

You may well already know these facts. I'm posting this to make two pitches, which may seem contradictory, but bear with me.

First, call the governor's office.

AARP is running full-page ads in state papers urging people to call Gov. McCrory's office and ask him to accept the federal dollars for Medicaid expansion. It's worth a try. I can't justify not trying to help the 500,000 North Carolinians who'll remain without health insurance if our state stupidly turns down that funding. You can make the point that Republican governors in Arizona and Ohio have already decided that their states can't afford NOT to take the money and get health care coverage for their citizens. You can call McCrory's office toll-free through the AARP switchboard at 800-464-2537.

Seriously, please just do it. It only takes a couple of minutes and costs nothing. McCrory's a politician who's off to a rocky start in Raleigh. A few thousand citizens calling his office in a short time frame might well have an impact.

Second, let your leaders in the NC Democratic Party know that they should raise absolute hell over this, starting immediately. This issue speaks to a core value our party has to stand for if "Democrat" is to mean anything: a fair break for working people who don't earn enough to pay on the private market for an absolutely critical service. This is literally a matter of life or death for thousands of men and women a year in our state.

New state party officers, I'm talking to YOU, friends. There is nothing more important that we will deal with all year. It's time to stand up and let all our remaining members of the General Assembly know that we need their voices now.

So that's two requests: Call McCrory's office; and then contact the NCDP. Both are in service of protecting the life and health of a half-million fellow residents of our state.

[ The wonk details of this issue can be found in the NC Institute of Medicine analysis summarized here: ]


Medicaid Expansion

Unbelievably appalling. So much damage in just three days! McCrory needs a tsunami of outrage hitting him starting tomorrow. The "UNC Liberal Arts" petition has almost 11,000 signatures. Keep it coming on all fronts.

I called the number,

went through AARP's prompts, was told they would connect me to the Governor's office and then cut off. I'm one of the people who would benefit from the expansion and consider it a personal mission to reach him. I'll keep trying.

Thanks for posting this, Dan. That's the first time I have been able to find out anything about the specifics of the exchanges ( on the pdf link) even though I've searched. I think if the federal government was doing a better job of informing the citizenry, there would be more public support instead of FOXnewz paranoia.

ps- I called the office directly

and got to speak to a human being fast...

(919) 733-5811

Thanks, Dan

I did not already know most of that, which is more a factor of time availability than interest. And I'm sure the Republican leadership is counting on similar confusion on this issue to help them keep a lot of these new Legislators on track.

But just like cutting off the Federal UI emergency/extended benefit funds, this move will take dollars out of the state that we desperately need to keep our recovery going.

Jobs for NC

This action shows, yet again, that the GOP is not interested in bringing JOBS to North Carolina. Allowing 500,000 people to seek medical care means new hires in the health care arena. How short-sighted can these people be???

Senate action

The Senate passed the bill last night on a party-line vote, 31-17, despite a letter from McCrory asking them to delay. The Senate action is no surprise. The McCrory letter is actually encouraging. Continued pressure may set up the possibility of a veto.

Dan Besse

Let's all chip in

and get the Governor one of those cool, hot VETO branding irons. That may encourage him to use it with a flourish.

interested in watching (or listening to) the NCGA debate?

the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services will meet as follows:

DAY & DATE: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
TIME: 8:30 AM
LOCATION: Appropriations room: 643 Legislative Office Bldg., Jones Street, Raleigh

Representative Marilyn Avila, Co-Chair
Representative William D. Brisson, Co-Chair
Representative Mark W. Hollo, Co-Chair

You do not have to travel to Raleigh to listen on the GOP's "debate." Listen in at Go to the "audio" tab and choose the room to listen.

And you may want to start emailing the NC House Co-chairs at,, and/or

Martha Brock

They wouldn't answer my call either

Called the 919 number and it was busy. I'll take that as a good sign.

Having just gone through the ordeal of a family member without insurance having emergency brain surgery, and having the carrot dangled that Medicaid might help us cover some of the costs we incurred, this really hits close to home and pushes my buttons.

Hopefully McCrory has someone reading this site regularly now (thanks to James and his Blue Onion posts).

I'll keep trying to call until I get through.


Thanks for posting this Dan, and to everyone keeping the fire burning here.


"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail


Thanks Thurman. Yours is the kind of story they need to hear.

Dan Besse

403 reads @ 9:54 pm

somebody is reading this diary.

VA Democrats pressure Gov. McDonnell

Virginia's Bob McDonnell is one of just a few Republican governors left to have not yet decided whether his state will accept Medicaid expansion funding from the federal government under the Affordable Care Act. And he's feeling the pressure as he weighs the decision, because Democrats in the state legislature are using their leverage.

DailyKos link