A central goal of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) is to significantly reduce the number of uninsured Americans by expanding Medicaid coverage for low income adults to 138% of the federal poverty level ($15,415 for an individual or $26,344 for a family of three in 2012). 25 states are moving forward with Medicaid expansion.
I am very disappointed that the NC Legislature, with Governor McCrory’s support, declined to expand Medicaid coverage for tens of thousands of North Carolinians who have no health insurance.
I represent disabled individuals. Most of my clients are indigent, have no health insurance, and are experiencing severe medical problems. I see on a daily basis extreme suffering that results from having serious medical problems and no health insurance.
One client was severely injured in a car accident when she was 15 years old. Her father was killed in this accident. My client sustained serious head injuries that caused brain damage. Today she is one of the millions of Americans who receive Medicaid which allows her to obtain proper medical care for her permanent injuries. This individual has never been arrested, does not use illegal drugs, and has done nothing wrong. She is an innocent victim of a terrible accident.
Another client was born with a rare auto immune disorder. After graduating from high school it has been impossible for this client to keep a job due to severe complications from her immune disorder which causes ulcers throughout her intestines. Her medications cost tens of thousands of dollars each year. This individual has never been arrested, does not use illegal drugs, and has done nothing wrong. She simply had the misfortune of being born with a bad set of genes.
I have had hundreds of clients like these two. I wish the legislators who voted against Medicaid expansion could meet my clients in person. My disabled clients are sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, and, Republicans and Democrats. They are suffering, and need a helping hand.