Rep. Russell Co-Sponsors Bill to Expand Medicaid in NC

AP Sports
April 29, 2020
Helen (Trivette) Kelley
April 29, 2020
Rep. Russell Co-Sponsors Bill to Expand Medicaid in NC

 

6,689 people in Ashe and Watauga would gain access to health care under today’s proposal

 

Today, Rep. Ray Russell co-sponsored HB 1040, a proposal to expand Medicaid in North Carolina and increase access to affordable health care for more than 500,000 North Carolinians, including approximately 2,291 in Ashe County and 4,398 in Watauga County alone.

 

“I am proud to co-sponsor HB 1040 which would expand Medicaid and increase health care coverage for working families across our district,” said Rep. Russell. “The COVID-19 crisis shows us how important health care coverage is.  When people delay care, it is bad for their personal health but also for the overall community.”

 

Medicaid expansion would help families in District 93 gain access to coverage, but the full effects would be felt by the entire community. Expanded health care coverage means lower costs and premiums for all North Carolinians because of lower levels of expensive, unreimbursed Emergency Room care.

 

“Medicaid expansion would not only help North Carolinians with their health care, but it would also create jobs and boost pay checks as we recover from COVID-19.  In Ashe County alone a Cone Health Foundation report estimates we would:

 

  • Create 84 jobs
  • Create $13 million in new business activity
  • Create $250,500 in new county revenue”

 

In Watauga, the report finds that Medicaid expansion would:

 

  • Create 279 jobs
  • Create $51.6 million in new business activity
  • Create $648,500 in new county revenue

 

Today’s proposal is fiscally responsible with no new taxes.  Ninety percent of the costs are paid with federal funds and the rest will be funded by cost-sharing with insurance companies and providers.

 

“Medicaid expansion should have happened years ago.  If it had, we would be in better shape today to deal with COVID-19.  It is time for us to join 38 other states in this common-sense step,” Rep. Russell concluded.