Physician Perspective on Medicaid Expansion
Since 1849, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) has supported efforts to improve access to care for North Carolinians in need of assistance. This goes to the very core of our mission as a professional society. As stated in our official policy manual and reaffirmed at our October 2015 annual meeting, the NCMS “supports incremental improvements in access for those North Carolinians most in need of assistance.” The expansion of North Carolina's Medicaid program to cover low-income uninsured people who do not now qualify for assistance is one way access to care could be improved. Expanding Medicaid coverage to include more poor adults would benefit not only those who would gain coverage but also those already paying for health insurance. Health insurance coverage for more North Carolinians would have a positive impact on access to preventive care, the health status of our residents, and the cost predictability of health care. The Right Foundation for Expansion The NCMS has been working closely with legislators and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for the past 4 years to ensure that the state's Medicaid program can support and sustain expansion. Expanding the Medicaid rolls by 500,000 additional beneficiaries is important , but we must be certain the system is prepared to absorb such a large number of enrollees at one time. The system must be able to seamlessly take in and finance those newly eligible for Medicaid assistance now and in the future. When the General Assembly began looking…
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