North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper raged against former President Donald Trump‘s threat to disembowel the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) by presenting a straightforward formula. In the Cooper’s calculation: People > Insurance Companies.
“People who know that insurance companies could block them with a pre-existing condition know that the Affordable Care Act protects them,” the Governor says, careful never to use the the colloquial term Obamacare. “When you rip the Affordable Care Act away, you’re taking power from the people and giving it to the insurance companies. This is what Donald Trump wants to do.”
Gov. Cooper: When you rip the Affordable Care Act away you're taking power from the people, that's what Donald Trump wants to do pic.twitter.com/YB5bZYn1pa— Biden-Harris HQ (@BidenHQ) December 4, 2023
A former NC Attorney General, Cooper is in his second term as Governor. Much the way he eschews the use of the Obamacare terminology, nowhere in his official bio does the Governor mention either the Democratic or Republican party, a purposeful oversight designed to signal his allegiance to the people above an allegiance to a political party.
One thing Cooper does talk about is health care for citizens of North Carolina, which just became the 40th state (plus Washington, DC) to expand Medicaid.
Cooper says the move means “investing billions of federal dollars in our state’s economy and critical health care” making care “accessible for 600,000 North Carolinians.”
With the launch of life-saving Medicaid Expansion last week, we’re investing billions of federal dollars in our state’s economy and critical health care is now accessible for 600,000 North Carolinians.https://t.co/k6fCiBFZEV— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) December 4, 2023
As WRAL in Raleigh reports:
The deal also includes a major funding boost for mental health care, and there’s up-front money – roughly $2.6 billion statewide – to help hospitals get started.
But the bottom line for struggling families is that a nearly free health insurance program once reserved largely for children and badly disabled adults will now also serve North Carolina adults living near poverty.WRAL
North Carolina Republicans had blocked efforts to include the state in the program since its inception. With the Medicaid expansion designed for the federal government to fund more than 90% of the increased health coverage, conservatives in state governments have been reluctant to commit to funding the remaining costs, characterizing the contribution as fiscally irresponsible.
A analysis at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health examining why many Republican-led state legislatures have blocked expanding the program — and how ballot initiatives have helped to reverse the blocks — drew particular attention to the situation of rural hospitals and their role as critical employers in more scarcely populated regions.
UC Berkeley Community Health Sciences Professor Ann Keller noted: “Rural hospitals fare better in Medicaid-expanded states. One of the things that’s interesting to think about is that in some rural communities the hospital is the major employer, so if that hospital does close then you have many employees losing healthcare coverage and their jobs.”