A report issued Thursday examines the numbers down to the county level in North Carolina. It shows how many people are uninsured and the jobs that would be created if the state accepts federal money to cover more of the state's low-income residents.

The study is funded by a group that includes the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and the Cone Health Foundation. Karen McNeil-Miller, President of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, says one in five North Carolinians don't have medical coverage.

“Too many people are uninsured in North Carolina. Not expanding Medicaid is costing North Carolina jobs and economic growth and the cost of state expanding Medicaid is low compared to the economic boom it could bring,” says McNeil-Miller.

The report finds that statewide, 43,000 jobs could be created in the next six years, and Miller says without growing the program, counties are losing out.

“There are 1,600 fewer jobs in Guilford County by not having Medicaid expansion. In Forsyth County, 1,000 fewer jobs in 2016 by not having Medicaid expansion and in Davie County, 45 fewer jobs," says McNeil-Miller. "And while 45 is a small number to Davie County, those 45 people would be an economic impact.”

Last year, North Carolina lawmakers opted not to accept billions of dollars in federal money because they have concerns about administrative problems and the long-term costs.

In recent weeks, Gov. Pat McCrory and others have signaled a readiness to expand the program, but Republicans in the state house are not warm to the idea.

McNeil-Miller says a copy of the study will be sent to every member of the General Assembly this week.

-The report was prepared by researchers at the George Washington University and funded by the Cone Health Foundation, the Duke Endowment, and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the report offers a nonpartisan economic analysis of the effects of decisions on whether to expand North Carolina's Medicaid program.

Follow Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

300x250 Ad

300x250 Ad

Support quality journalism, like the story above, with your gift right now.