Letter to the Editor: Report shows benefits of Medicaid expansion

James R. Foster, M.D., wrote the following Letter to the Editor that was published here in the Greensboro News and Record on Feb. 14:

A recent analysis of the costs of expanding Medicaid in North Carolina by researchers at the Health Law and Policy Program at Wake Forest University is essential reading for everyone with an interest in Medicaid and health care in North Carolina.

The report is based on numerous economic projections for Medicaid expansion, as well as on results in states that have already expanded. It concludes that the cost of our eventual 10 percent share of expanded Medicaid is almost completely offset by financial benefits from expansion. In the report’s words, “… every comprehensive financial analysis that has been done has concluded that expansion will not cost the state any substantial amount.”

This report persuasively refutes economic objections to expanding Medicaid, including “maintenance of effort” concerns. Therefore, it is now time for Gov. Pat McCrory and our legislative leaders to develop a North Carolina plan for expanding Medicaid.

Such a plan would likely influence the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services toward approval of our recent Medicaid reform proposal,and finally make health care coverage available to the 300,000 to 500,000 mostly working North Carolinians who are currently left out.

Please, Gov. McCrory, Sen. Phil Berger and Rep. Tim Moore, expand Medicaid now!

James R. Foster, M.D., Chapel Hill, North Carolina