RALEIGH – Lots of people in the Old North State get their news via subsidiaries of the Capitol Broadcasting Company. The flagship ‘news’ station WRAL, in the Raleigh area, serves as a platform for the Leftist owners and operators of CBC to distribute their half-brained Leftist policy wishes to the masses. In the past, these editorials have suggested some crazy things, like equating North Carolina under a Republican legislature to North Korea under Kim Jong Un.
This week’s ‘official CBC opinion’ is all about pushing Medicaid expansion in the Old North State, and suggesting Republican lawmakers are not only responsible for people dying due to lack of healthcare access, they are only opposed to expansion because it was part of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare debacle, and Obama is (half)black don’t you know.
Among the critical issues before candidates for the North Carolina General Assembly, there is one more than any other that commands a simple and direct response.
Will you vote to abolish the prohibition and expand Medicaid health coverage to the more than 625,000 North Carolinians who don’t get it now even though they are eligible under current federal law?
Since 2013, the majority in the legislature has not simply blocked expansion, it has explicitly forbidden it. There are 71 Republicans on the November ballot who voted for the prohibition. Their names, and the counties they represent, are listed below. We hope they’ve seen the error of their ways and changed their minds. Given past behavior, we aren’t optimistic but still are hopeful.
The leadership of the North Carolina General Assembly — specifically Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham and House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland — could easily bring this neglect to an end. But their reflexive disdain for ANYTHING backed by former President Barack Obama prevents a change.
Only the loud voices of the voters, heralded from the ballot box, will bring about any change.
There is no legitimate excuse, no good reason, no justification not to expand Medicaid in North Carolina.”
Those heartless, racist Republicans are doing it again, say the Leftists, and you’ve got to vote them out so Democrats can grow the government.
Apparently the writers of this official CBC opinion think if they state confidently that there are no justifications to not pass legislation like Big Government Medicaid expansion, it makes it so. The actual facts sort of get in the way of that declaration, though.
Facts and analysis is a strength of Katherine Restrepo, who formerly specialized in healthcare policy while an analyst for the John Locke Foundation, and her run down on Medicaid expansion in North Carolina is a must read. Here is a taste:
- Fully funding Medicaid expansion and other health care entitlements will necessitate either higher levels of deficit spending, which adds to the multi-trillion-dollar federal deficit, or substantial increases in taxes, which impedes economic growth.
- Medicaid expansion would cost North Carolina an estimated $6 billion between 2020 and 2030. To pay for the expansion, the North Carolina General Assembly would need to reduce provider payments, divert resources from other important parts of the budget such as education or transportation, or greatly increase taxes.
- Expanding Medicaid eligibility puts traditional program enrollees at risk. Low-income parents, children, pregnant women, the elderly, the blind, and the disabled would have to compete for access to health care with an estimated 500,000 people added to Medicaid rolls, 82 percent of whom are able-bodied childless adults.
- Currently, 25 percent of physicians in North Carolina do not accept new Medicaid patients, because, in part, of below-market reimbursement rates. Physicians and providers who serve Medicaid patients would compensate for the expansion by negotiating higher payment through private carriers, ultimately passing on the cost of expansion to non-Medicaid consumers in the form of higher premiums for private insurance.
- With less access to physicians that accept new Medicaid patients, new enrollees will likely turn to hospital emergency rooms for service. A Colorado Hospital Association report found that emergency room usage was higher in expansion states than in non-expansion states.
- Expanding eligibility levels for government health insurance programs crowds out access to private coverage. Studies indicate that the crowd-out effect contributes to the fact that six out of 10 people on Medicaid once had private coverage.
- The 2008 Oregon Health Insurance Experiment (OHIE) is known as the “gold standard” of studies that assess Medicaid’s overall effectiveness. Researchers randomly assigned eligible patients to the state’s Medicaid program. Two years later, the authors concluded that Medicaid had no statistically significant effect on major measures of health outcomes between those who had been chosen to participate and those who had not.
It’s good to know that CBC and WRAL do us all a favor by demonstrating their Leftist political agenda via their official editorials, but for those that don’t read their publications with a salt-shaker on hand it is straight Leftist propaganda. At least they didn’t compare N.C. to North Korea this time.