Doctors, nurses and physician assistants will advocate for expanding Medicaid in a Monday press conference and rally, 6:15 p.m. at Durham City Hall.
Held by the N.C. Medical Professionals for Expanded Health Access, the press event comes directly before a Durham City Council meeting, where council members will vote on a resolution asking the state legislature to expand Medicaid.
The Medical Professionals’ and city council’s efforts come on the heels of a tensely partisan legislative session. The groups will be continuing Democratic lawmakers’ fight against the GOP majority, which they say has ignored low-income North Carolinians. But the rally is unlikely to sway the legislature.
“Gov. McCrory and the state legislature refused federal funds that would have paid for 100 percent of the costs for Medicaid expansion, turning their backs on 500,000 uninsured North Carolinians,” the press release stated. “According to the N.C. Institute of Medicine, 48,000 people in Durham are uninsured — that's more than 18 percent of the city's population.”
Gov. Pat McCrory has said Medicaid is one of the most expensive parts of the year’s budget. He has also said he would consider expansion after North Carolina’s “broken” Medicaid system is fixed.
The state government would not be able to expand Medicaid until next spring, when it would have to decide to accept federal dollars for the program.