NC would insure hundreds of thousands, gain billions in economic growth with Medicaid expansion

Analysis provides a county-by-county update to 2014 data as North Carolina considers Medicaid expansion

Expanding Medicaid would create more than 37,000 new jobs and insure approximately 365,000 more people, according to a new non-partisan analysis. The report was prepared by researchers at The George Washington University with funding from Cone Health Foundation and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.

Craven County alone would experience 169 new jobs and 5,720 more people covered by Medicaid by 2022. The county’s economy would grow by $35.5 million, and county tax revenues would increase by $390,000.

In addition to the new jobs created and the hundreds of thousands of uninsured residents gaining coverage, the researchers estimate that the state would increase its business activity by $11.7 billion in just three years, between 2020-2022. It’s money that could be spent on education, infrastructure and other needs.

“Medicaid expansion is a job creator and can extend health coverage to thousands of previously uninsured North Carolinians who are falling through the gaps in our current system,” said Susan Shumaker, president, Cone Health Foundation. “States that have already expanded Medicaid are better equipped to tackle critical health care concerns like opioid addiction and infant mortality rates, issues that need to be addressed here at home in North Carolina.”

The analysis updates a 2014 report, providing a county-by-county look at the number of jobs, new Medicaid enrollees and economic growth that would result from the state expanding Medicaid. With nearly one in six non-elderly adults in North Carolina uninsured (16%)—a rate that is above the national average (12%)—every county, urban or rural, stands to benefit. For example, both an urban county like Wake and a rural county like Burke will create jobs under Medicaid expansion, 4,076 and 456, respectively.

“This report confirms what we’re hearing from families across the state—increased access to quality health care and economic opportunities helps communities thrive, and research shows that expanding Medicaid delivers both,” said Laura Gerald, MD, president, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. “Every community stands to benefit fromMedicaid expansion. The evidence shows that closing the Medicaid gap will improve population health, support vulnerable North Carolina families and boost the economy across the major sectors.”

North Carolina remains just one of 14 states yet to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and according to experts at The George Washington University, Medicaid eligibility requirements in North Carolina are the ninth most restrictive in the country. As a result, nearly 1 million North Carolinians between the ages of 19 and 64 are uninsured.

June 26th, 2019 by
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