14 North Carolina CEOs say state is ready for Medicaid expansion

Now is the time for North Carolina lawmakers to expand Medicaid to ensure a healthier workforce, 14 CEOs wrote in an opinion article published by local news station WRAL.com.

The executives said they believe the state's General Assembly made a wise decision to not expand Medicaid when the option first became available. However, as North Carolina's Medicaid program has strengthened and rang in under budget for the past five years, the state is ready to try and cover the 13 percent of nonsenior residents without health insurance, the CEOs said.

"We all benefit from expanding access to insurance, starting with lower healthcare costs. When faced with a medical condition, those without insurance often have little choice but to rely on the emergency room, which legally must treat them regardless of ability to pay. The cost of this care is passed on to consumers through higher insurance premiums and higher medical costs for those with insurance," the CEOs wrote.

Furthermore, the CEOs said expanded Medicaid would benefit the state's rural hospitals and uninsured veterans, and add about 43,000 jobs to the state over the next five years, according to the article published on WRAL.com.

For the full list of the 14 North Carolina CEOs who endorsed Medicaid expansion, click here.

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