Up & Coming Weekly

July 23, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1147528

Contents of this Issue


Page 10 of 28

10 UCW JULY 24-30, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM North Carolina's recent budget standoff in Raleigh called into ques- tion whether the state could afford Medicaid expansion. Republicans offered a Medicaid expansion com- promise bill, but Gov. Roy Cooper, D-N.C., and Democrats wanted full expansion of Medicaid to provide health insurance to an estimated 600,000 poor North Carolinians, many of whom are eligible children. CNBC reported this month that North Carolina had built one of the country's strongest business climates over the past two decades, fueled by low business costs, incentives and a young, educated workforce, many of whom have been trained at the strong universities in the state and Research Triangle Park. ree years ago, Forbes ranked North Carolina's economic develop- ment No. 1 in the country. No state's economy is on more solid ground than the tar heel state. e state at- tracted $2.6 billion in venture capital in 2018, the sixth highest figure in the nation. It is also attracting skilled workers, who are moving to North Carolina in droves. But the tar heel state is no exception to push for Med- icaid eligibility expansion, which is growing at a rapid clip nationwide. In Ohio, for example, Medicaid rose 35% from $18.9 billion in fiscal year 2013 to $25.7 billion in 2017. Ohio Medicaid spending has grown 88% over the past decade, more than double the rate of growth in total state spending. Medicaid was already the largest category of state spending a decade ago, and current- ly the program consumes an even greater share of the state budget. In 2017, Medicaid consumed more than 29% of total state spending, up from 20% in 2008. In 2008, North Carolina beneficia- ries grew to a grand total of 1,407,257 who were covered by Medicaid — or Health Choice, for children who do not qualify for Medicaid. By 2015, that number had increased to 1,911,918. Over the same time period, the state's population grew at an annual rate of 1.2%, a rate of growth that's less than Medicaid eligibility is growing. Matt Salo, head of the National Associa- tion of Medicaid Directors, said about one-third of all kids in the country are covered by Medicaid as are more than half of all births. Forty-one percent of North Carolina's kids are covered under Medicaid or Health Choice, which is higher than the national average. Salo said the good news is that kids are less expensive to cover. Analysts like Steve Owen, senior fiscal analyst for the North Carolina General As- sembly, have told state legislators several times over the past year that part of North Carolina's success at holding down Medicaid costs is due in large part to the increase in the number of children enrolled, be- cause their coverage is cheaper than adults and families. irty-six states and Washington, D.C., have opted to expand Medic- aid over the years. North Carolina is one of the 14 states that have not expanded coverage. Medicaid spending is the largest budget cat- egory and has grown at a faster rate than all other areas of state spending including education, public safety, and infrastructure. "By restrain- ing spending growth to an average of 3.5% over the two-year budget, North Carolinians get to keep more of their money," wrote Becki Gray, senior vice president at the conser- vative John Locke Foundation. Can North Carolina afford Medicaid expansion? by JEFF THOMPSON Forty-one percent of North Carolina's kids are covered under Medicaid or Health Choice, which is higher than the national average. NEWS Introducing soldiers and their families to the Fayetteville community in an effort to provide greater understanding of America's Army. www.ausa.org/chapters/braxton-braggchapter Braxton Bragg Chapter Soldiers of Excellence Luncheon Wednesday, August 7 th 11:30am Contact: Andrew McFowler 910.624.6989 amcfowler@nc.rr.com Keynote Speaker: Senator Thom Tillis United States Senator North Carolina Guest: General Carter Ham, USA Retired President & CEO, Association of the United States Army Tickets $30 DRESS CODE: Military: Duty Civilian: Business Attire Crown Coliseum • 1960 Coliseum Drive • Fayetteville, NC 28306 Public Invited

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - July 23, 2019