Every state legislator should be required to listen to the stories shared at a press conference organized this week by North Carolina advocates for health care. Anyone opposed to Medicaid expansion might learn something.
Dr. Erica Pettigrew, medical director of the Orange County Health Department, shared four different cases from a single day’s work where patients did not get the follow-up care she recommended because they could not afford it.
Martha Chaire explained how important Medicaid is for her son, Javi, who has complex medical needs in addition to Down Syndrome.
Nancy Ruffner, a small business owner in the health care industry does not have health care for herself because she falls in the coverage gap.
The need for Medicaid expansion continues, and there is urgency to move forward with it while it remains an option. Along with the billions of dollars and thousands of new jobs that would come to the state with expansion, more than 400,000 residents who currently do not qualify for Medicaid would gain health care. In the wealthiest country in the world where many leaders consider themselves Christian, the opportunity to extend care to our sisters and brothers who are suffering without it is real. That we have not for ideological reasons that are both devoid of compassion and defy economic sense is staggering.
Meanwhile, at the federal level, leaders in Congress are scrambling to move forward with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act before the upcoming break. They do not want legislators to come home and hear directly from their constituents how unpopular their efforts to repeal the ACA have been.
Your calls make a difference, and it is vital that they continue. Distractions at the federal level are considerable, but we must continue to let legislators know that a just and equitable health care system remains a priority.