Al Heggins pledges to fight for Medicaid expansion to save lives, create jobs

SALISBURY, N.C.—Aug. 13, 2020—Residents of N.C. House District 76 have waited far too long for our state legislators in Raleigh to make the right decision about Medicaid expansion.

North Carolina is now one of only 12 states that has not expanded Medicaid, and residents in the 76th continue to suffer. As elected public servants, we must work to protect our most vulnerable populations. I pledge to fight for the lives, jobs and economic growth in the 76th that we are losing due to the failure of state legislators to expand Medicaid.

We continue to see more people become uninsured because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s time for lawmakers to make the right decision on expanding Medicaid.

According to the N.C. Poverty Research Fund, the human toll of North Carolina’s failure to expand Medicaid is immeasurable. In the first four years that expansion was available nationally, an estimated 1,400 North Carolinians between the ages of 55 and 64 died because of the state refusal to expand. Going forward, more than 1,000 lives will be saved every year if Medicaid is expanded in North Carolina. These numbers, grave as they are, only hint at the extent of individual suffering and loss and do not begin to tally the larger harms to North Carolina’s healthcare system or its economy.

Failing to expand Medicaid is a form of violence against the poor, “a self-inflicted wound on the state, its healthcare system and its people,” as stated by the N.C. Poverty Research Fund.

Rowan County would benefit in many ways by Medicaid expansion. According to a study by the Center for Health Policy Research at The George Washington University, Medicaid expansion in Rowan County would mean:

  • 367 new jobs

  • 9,684 more people with health insurance

  • $74.1 million more growth in the county’s economy from 2020 to 2022

And most importantly, it would mean saving lives.

More than 1 million North Carolinians do not have health insurance. North Carolina taxpayers continue to pay more than $8 billion a year toward Medicaid expansion, yet we are not reaping the benefits. If we expanded Medicaid, we would receive $4 billion a year that would go toward health insurance for the uninsured.

What has my opponent done to insure our most vulnerable populations here in the 76th? North Carolina can do better, and I pledge to fight for the health coverage you deserve.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Ducksworth 980-565-6966