Expanding Medicaid is not the answer to helping expand access to medical care in North Carolina. In this Heartland Institute piece, Heartland’s Matthew Glans analyzes efforts to expand Medicaid expansion in North Carolina and posits why the state should reject these expansion efforts. Glans writes:

In May, Republican leadership in the North Carolina Senate did not include Medicaid expansion in their 2019-21 state budget proposal. Despite this decision, many experts believe Medicaid expansion is still possible in the Tar Heel State because Gov. Roy Cooper will likely veto any budget that does not include Medicaid expansion and Republicans do not have the votes to override the governor’s veto. 

Citing our Jordan Roberts’ research brief on Medicaid Expansion, Glans noted:

“Medicaid expansion would cost North Carolina an estimated $6 billion between 2020 and 2039.” To cover the costs, the study found the state would “need to reduce provider payments, divert resources from other important parts of the budget such as education or transportation, or greatly increase taxes.”

Glan concludes:

Medicaid expansion would produce disastrous economic and social consequences for all North Carolinians. For example, it would reinforce government dependency, sap self-reliance, and balloon the state budget. North Carolina lawmakers should continue to reject Medicaid expansion.

Read the whole piece from The Heartland Institute here.


So what should North Carolina do, if not expand Medicaid? JLF’s Jordan Roberts offers recommendations:

North Carolina should scale back on costly insurance mandates, so patients can choose the type of health insurance coverage that meets their needs. Lawmakers should repeal the outdated and expensive “Certificate of Need” laws so that incumbent providers aren’t insulated from competition which leads to higher costs. Further, the state should look at ways to expand more choices of health insurance such as association health plans or short term, limited duration insurance which provide more affordable coverage options for patients. To address the shortage of affordable doctors, lawmakers could open up the scope of practice for affordable practitioners and reduce the barriers to out-of-state doctors to come into the state to practice.


Learn more about Medicaid expansion and why it is not the right fit for North Carolina here.