By Peg O’Connell, Chair, Care4Carolina
Wow! I know I have been bugging you—a lot, for these last several years to bring Medicaid Expansion to North Carolina and you did it! You really did bring the greatest Christmas present ever for the 600,000 North Carolinians who had, until December 1, been caught in the coverage gap with no affordable option for health insurance. Now they can go to the doctor for check-ups before their conditions get serious. And if they do have to go to the hospital, they can focus on getting better, instead of worrying about the financial devastation that a long illness can cause. You brought peace of mind for so many hard-working North Carolinians.
Thank you, Santa, for remembering our state this year. In addition to the 600,000 who will get health insurance coverage, thousands of jobs will be created and millions of dollars will go to support our counties and communities, especially in the rural areas of our state. Our state will be healthier and our economy will stronger. This will be a Christmas present that people will cherish for years to come.
I could go on about all the benefits of Medicaid Expansion, but I know that this is your busy season and you are getting ready for your big flight, so I will simply say THANK YOU from everyone at Care4Carolina. Thank you for all the partners who worked so hard for these last eight years, for our policymakers and leaders who stuck their necks out to do the right thing for working people in our state and everyone who believed in and supported Care4Carolina, none of this would have been possible without every single one of them. Our hearts are filled with gratitude this holiday season for many who did so much.
Santa, I know I promised last year that if you brought Medicaid Expansion to North Carolina that I would never ask for anything again, but while you are out on Christmas Eve and flying by South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and the other states that have not yet expanded Medicaid, maybe you could look in your bag and see if you might have the same life-saving gift for them that you brought to North Carolina this year. There are millions of people in those states who are still caught in the coverage gap and they could really use a visit from you.
Your friend, Peg O’Connell