Senators Ben Clark (D-Hoke) and Angela Bryant (D-Nash) have filed SB 290, the Medicaid Expansion/Healthcare Jobs Initiative bill.
To date, 32 states have accepted expanded Medicaid coverage, including Vice President Mike Pence’s home state of Indiana.
SB 290 would expand Medicaid to people under 65 who make up to $15,654 a year, or up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Additional state funds would be appropriated to help cover additional costs of expansion. As a result, Medicaid would serve an additional 630,000 North Carolinians by 2019 and create a much need jolt to rural areas through expanded health services.
All of this could add up to a significant economic and humanitarian boost for North Carolina, said Bryant.
“Medicaid expansion would have a positive ripple effect on our state’s economy using funds that people largely already pay into the federal system and keeping it in North Carolina. It’s a matter of using the funds available to us and reinvesting it in our people and our local economies.”
The reach is multi-faceted, Clark added. “This would generate an increased demand for health services and create new jobs, not only in the healthcare industry itself, but in construction, administration and a variety of industries,” he said. “But, ultimately, it moves us towards a healthier population and that is the most important goal.”