Health care is a number one priority, especially during this pandemic. Yet 12% of Rowan County residents, and 11% across the state, do not have health insurance. This could be remedied by North Carolina participating in Medicaid Expansion, provided through the Affordable Care Act. This would cost North Carolina nothing for the first 2 years, and only 10% after that. Hospitals want this program, which would especially in underserved rural areas.
The draft budget proposals the General Assembly and Governor are negotiating do not include Medicaid Expansion. Why should North Carolina refuse this Federal-funded opportunity to provide health care to 600,000 North Carolinians, including many essential workers?
The General Assembly says they can’t afford to give our communities what we need to thrive – expansion of health care, fully funded public education, affordable housing and increases in unemployment compensation. Yet they propose eliminating corporate taxes. Meanwhile, there is $8.6 billion dollars just sitting in the bank, undesignated -- our money, our tax dollars. This money should be used to meet the dire needs of our residents, not give more tax breaks to wealthy corporations who come here to avoid paying a livable wage to their workers.
We deserve a state budget that represents all of us, not just a powerful few. I call on our representatives in Raleigh to pass a budget that is for the people they represent.