Is health care only for people of means?
When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in 2010, it included an offer to expand Medicaid to our poorest neighbors. The Budget and Tax Center (BTC) estimates that at least 380,000 people would have benefited in North Carolina. And other estimates are as high as 500,000 people. The plan was for the federal government to shoulder nearly 100% of the additional cost.
So why did the NC legislature refuse to expand Medicaid? Cynically, I believe it is because Republicans in Raleigh just didn’t like the idea of adopting any Obama initiative. My opponent claims there is too much Federal red tape. He is letting people suffer and perhaps even die because he doesn’t want to work through some red tape!
Healthcare for the poorest among us can dramatically change and improve the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people. Instead of getting medical care through emergency rooms (for which we all pay), our neighbors can get routine health care that will help them avoid emergencies.
Plus, Medicaid expansion would be good for the economy! The BTC estimates that expanding Medicaid could create 23,000 good paying jobs and rescue rural health facilities (which are reducing services and even closing!) Right now, NC taxpayers send billions of dollars to DC, and don’t get anything back for it. If we accepted the Medicaid Expansion, those tax dollars would come back to us and back into our local economy.
This should be a no-brainer. Health care should not only be for those who can afford it. It should be the right of every citizen to have access to health care. When I go to Raleigh as your Senator, I will fight for Medicaid Expansion.
Today, career educator and retired principal of the Black Mountain Elementary School Norm Bossert announced his candidacy for the North Carolina State Senate district 48.
“Don’t let my soft demeanor fool you – I will fight and fight hard for the people of this state,” Norm said. “It is time to renew our trust in each other and in our elected officials.”
Prior to announcing his candidacy, Norm traveled the district listening to voters in Transylvania, Henderson, and southern Buncombe County. Voters voiced many of the same concerns: health care, the economy, and public education.
“It was heartbreaking to hear how many of my neighbors tell me they feel like our government isn’t working for them,” Norm continued. “A policeman and his wife told me they are afraid that treating their child’s M.S. will bankrupt their family if Medicaid is cut. I listened to a single mom talk about her struggle to feed, clothe and properly house her two sons as a grill cook at $8.45 an hour. A man whose mother managed to put him and his two sisters through college working as a maid can’t afford the $18,941 a year needed to send his son to Appalachian State University. What’s that say about our state?”
In 44 years as a professional educator, Norm’s strongest suit has always been his commitment: commitment to his students, to quality education, to getting people to talk to each other, to getting results for everyone. Norm promises to take that commitment to the state Senate and find sensible solutions that create real progress for everyone.
“We need new leaders, not more politicians, in our state government,” Norm said. “People who will expand Medicaid, help bring good jobs to our rural areas, and invest in our young people, not saddle them with debt. I’m committed to finding common ground and real solutions, and I’d be honored to have your support.”