On July 16th, the NC Justice Center partnered with organizations across the state to hold the “Where is the Plan” Day of Action at the State Capitol. The rally’s aim was to send a message to Governor McCrory to present a proposal to close the Medicaid coverage gap in North Carolina.
There are approximately 500,000 people in North Carolina who fall into the Medicaid Coverage gap. They are hardworking adults in the state whose incomes are not high enough to qualify for health care through the Affordable Care Act, but are not low enough to qualify for Medicaid at it’s current eligibility threshold.
Dr. Peter Morris, pediatrician and executive director of Urban Ministries of Wake County (pictured above), encouraged Gov. McCrory to act quickly because, “public policy can indeed save lives.”
Below are some dispatches from other folks at the rally who told us why they are urging Gov. McCrory to announce the details of his plan for Medicaid expansion in North Carolina:
Michelle Hughes, Executive Director of NC Child
“Expanding Medicaid could help reduce the infant mortality rate in NC.” North Carolina has the seventh highest infant mortality rate in the United States, with 7.8 per 1000 deaths.
Barbara Smalley-McMahan and Gloria Ligon, NAACP of Raleigh
“Diseases don’t wait for you to get your policies together. They just go ahead and ravage the body. That’s why I say its horrible that he has waited this long, because people are still dying.”
Randee Gordon, Carolina Jews for Justice
“Its critical that all citizens of North Carolina have access to quality health care, it’s a basic human right. So it’s something that we’re concerned about because some individuals don’t have access to health care, and it’s leading to loss of life and illness that isn’t necessary.”
Nashonda Cooke, Moms Rising
“[As mothers] we are the leads in our families when it comes to medical care of our children. Some of us take care of our parents. I myself am a teacher, so I see how this affects my students and [their] parents, not only my own children. The reason why we’re here is because it’s ridiculous that over half of a million people have to wait for the governor to figure out what he’s gonna do to take care of the people of the state.”
Leona Whichard, League of Women Voters
“We helped to sign people up for the Affordable Care Act in the libraries last year during the signup period. A friend of mine got particularly active in the “close the gap” activities because she became aware of it in signing people up. She said it was all very good when people qualified for the ACA and hear that they finally have insurance. But there were some people who came thinking they could sign up for the ACA and they took all the information from them and they had to say, ‘sorry, you don’t qualify because you don’t make enough money’, and left them falling in the cracks. She said that to face them, to see their faces fall with this information was heartbreaking.”