WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the North Carolina General Assembly completed its short session and left Raleigh with the matter of Medicaid expansion unresolved, meaning that 600,000 hard-working, would-be eligible North Carolinians are forced to wait even longer for a chance at affordable access to care. To date, 38 states and the District of Columbia have taken the lifesaving action of increasing access to their Medicaid programs. North Carolina has had the opportunity to join them but has yet to do so, despite Medicaid expansion having broad, bipartisan support from North Carolina voters.
The following is a statement from Lisa Lacasse, President of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN):
“While the North Carolina Senate’s passage of a bill fully authorizing Medicaid expansion is a significant step, the inability of both chambers to come to consensus on this critical issue thus far is profoundly disappointing for many patients with cancer and their families in North Carolina as they struggle with access to care. Moreover, if access is not expanded, the cancer disparities that disproportionally affect Black, Latino, and rural communities in the state are likely to be exacerbated. We urge lawmakers, as well as Governor Cooper, to continue to work in earnest on this critical issue. They should rectify this by taking up Medicaid expansion when they are scheduled to return to Raleigh later this month. We stand ready, on behalf of patients with cancer and those who will be diagnosed with cancer, to work with North Carolina policymakers to expand Medicaid for those hard-working North Carolinians in the health care coverage gap and whose lives stand to markedly improve.”