By Molly Thomas, Research Intern, Care4Carolina
If general statistics on the benefits of expansion are not convincing of the fact that healthcare expansion is likely supported by both sides of the political aisle, the proof is in election outcomes. Out of the fifty-five incumbent Republican state legislators that faced election shortly after voting “YES” on healthcare expansion in Montana and Virginia, fifty-two won reelection.
Closing the coverage gap is so important to voters, that in Montana after districts were redrawn, Republican incumbent Randy Pinocci, a staunch expansion critic, lost in the primaries to Wendy McKamey, another incumbent Republican who had voted “YES” on closing the coverage gap during the previous congressional session. Montana voters held their legislators accountable and rewarded those in support of healthcare reform.
But, North Carolina is not Montana nor Virginia. Rather North Carolina is a state that rewarded Greg “Medicaid” Murphy with a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives after running on a pro-expansion platform both for his national and priorly-held state government seat. Former state senator turned Labor Commissioner, Josh Dobson, was similarly rewarded with promotion by North Carolinians for protecting healthcare rights in our state.
We know that Republican legislators are rewarded for voting “YES” on healthcare expansion and that some are punished for voting “NO”. It is clear to see why politicians across the country are being rewarded for being pro-health care reform. In our state alone, over 600,000 North Carolinians would gain healthcare coverage if our state legislature voted “YES” on expansion. We also know that 75% of North Carolina voters agree that healthcare coverage needs to be expanded in our state.
Voters in North Carolina want legislators to vote “YES” on healthcare because it is not a partisan problem. It’s a human one.