Will GOP legislators cave to the left on Obamacare Medicaid expansion? | Eastern North Carolina Now

By John Steed

Obamacare Medicaid expansion is a major goal of Democrats nationally and of leftwing Democrat Governor Roy Cooper here in North Carolina.  It is a big government, big spending program however that Republican voters are overwhelmingly opposed to.

The question in this legislative session is whether Republican legislators will stand firm with their voters or will they cave in to the Democrats and special interests?  In the last legislative session, GOP legislative leaders Phil Berger and Tim Moore tried to push this Democrat goal.  Most GOP Senators caved but a solid phalanx of Republicans in the House put their foot down and said “NO” stopping it in its tracks.  The push is certain to be renewed in this legislative session.

Passing the Obamacare Medicaid expansion would mean that a majority of those moved into this government funded Medicaid program would be people who already have health insurance, mostly through employer provided plans.  They would be shifted from private insurance to taxpayer funded Medicaid.  Conservatives see this as unnecessarily expanding the welfare state and putting a new burden on taxpayers.

Medicaid expansion wpuld also undermine the dignity of people.  Citizens now proudly paying their own way with their medical insurance paid for as part of their compensation for doing their jobs would be transferred without their consent to being clients of the welfare state.  Under this plan, their ability to continue on employment-related paid plans would end.  There are also many doctors who take private health insurance but do not take Medicaid and these people may lose their doctors.

Another concern is that the current Medicaid program is rife with fraud.  An audit of one NC county's Medicaid program by the State Auditor found millions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse. The program as it already exists needs to be cleaned up, not expanded.

While a large part of the extra cost at the state level would initially be funded by taxpayer dollars from the federal government, that assistance will run out and the program will then be on the backs of state taxpayers.  County governments also pay a share of Medicaid, so it will likely raise county taxes as well.

Republican voters in multiple polls have registered their opposition to Obamacare Medicaid expansion.  Among readers of the Beaufort Observer with nearly 400 responding, over 97% are opposed.  The executive committee of the Third Congressional District Republican Party recently adopted a resolution by unanimous vote urging the legislature to vote it down.

Local legislators are a mixed bag on this issue.  In the State Senate, Senator Norm Sanderson (R-Pamlico) is a leading opponent of Obamacare Medicaid expansion, while Senator Jim Perry (R-Lenoir), who is heavily funded by Big Medicine special interests, is one of its leading supporters.  In the House, Representative Keith Kidwell (R-Beaufort), leader of the House Freedom Caucus, has been a leading opponent, while newly elected Rep. Tim Reeder (R-Pitt), again heavily funded by Big Medicine, is an avowed supporter.  So Beaufort’s Legislative delegation is split.  Tell Sanderson and Kidwell you appreciate their standing strong and tell Perry and Reeder to oppose this hit on the taxpayers.

It is important that your legislators hear from you now before the sparks begin to fly.  Call their offices and tell whomever you talk to that you oppose Medicaid expansion.

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( February 7th, 2023 @ 10:06 am )
Phil Berger and Tim Moore are spendthrifts for backing this taxpayer ripoff Medicaid expansion. They are betraying the taxpayers of North Carolina. So is that Jim Perry. How did we ever get stuck with him as our senator, anyway? Every major issue he touches, he seems to act more like a Democrat. Hopefully our state representatives will continue to stand up for our taxpayers. Keith Kidwell has been a real hero on helping stop this bad legislation.

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