Posted: October 27th, 2016 | By: Triad Business Journal
Professor Mark Hall, director of the Health Law and Policy Program, and research associate Katherine E. Booth (JD ’15) authored the study, ”Can Medicaid help (North Carolina) military veterans?”
The following feature on the study ran in the Triad Business Journal on Oct. 27, 2016:
A Wake Forest University law professor and his associate have released a study concerning Medicaid and military veterans.
“This report is the first look at a critically important but little known issue — low-income veterans without access to comprehensive health insurance coverage due to state policy,” said Allen Smart, vice president of programs at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, which provided support for the study.
“We hope the findings will become part of the broader conversation around Medicaid expansion.”
Medicaid is a program funded by federal and state government that provides health insurance to the neediest people in North Carolina. However, due to funding restrictions, Medicaid currently covers fewer than half of people in poverty. Usually, the federal government pays two thirds of the state’s Medicaid cost, but the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA” or “Obamacare”) offers to pay 90 percent of the costs of extending or Medicaid, or a private market alternative, to cover all North Carolina citizens who are poor or near poverty. States may either extend traditional Medicaid, or propose an innovative alternative for federal funding. “So far, North Carolina’s leaders have declined the opportunity to cover this population, citing the costs and disadvantages of doing so,” according to the study.
This is one of a series of issue briefs, produced by the Wake Forest Health Law and Policy Program, exploring the costs and benefits of Medicaid in North Carolina. This issue brief focuses on the potential for Medicaid to benefit military veterans. North Carolina has a large military and veteran population (fourth largest in the nation), and veterans are one of the groups of North Carolina citizens who could benefit from Medicaid funding under the ACA. The Military Times in 2015 ranked Raleigh and Cary two of the best cities for veterans to live.