Monday numbers: A closer look at why Medicaid expansion is a “must” this session

Monday numbers: A closer look at why Medicaid expansion is a “must” this session

- in News, Top Story

This is the 74th day of the legislative session and members of the House and Senate face a deadline at the end of this month to finalize the new state budget. What remains unclear at this point is whether Medicaid expansion will be part of the spending plan. If not, will Governor Cooper veto the legislature’s budget?

Today’s Monday numbers column takes a closer look at some of the numbers surrounding the ongoing expansion debate. 

37 – the number of states (including the District of Columbia) that have adopted Medicaid expansion

14 – the number of states (including North Carolina) that have yet to expand Medicaid coverage, primarily due to Republican opposition

22 – the number of vigils held across the state last Wednesday to call for Medicaid expansion and remember the thousands of people who have suffered and/or died because North Carolina lawmakers have failed to close the coverage gap

2.1 million – the approximate number of current beneficiaries in the NC Medicaid program (Source: NC Fiscal Research)

53 – Percentage that children make up of the total enrollment in the state’s Medicaid program (Ibid.)

500,000 – the number of additional North Carolinians who would become eligible for coverage if North Carolina expanded Medicaid this session

215,000 – the number of North Carolinians who fall into the “coverage gap”

40,000 – the number of jobs North Carolina is projected to add by expanding Medicaid

90 – the percentage of  annual administrative costs that would be covered by federal government if North Carolina moved forward with Medicaid expansion

10 – Where North Carolina’s rate of uninsured ranks nationally (Source: Profiling North Carolina’s Uninsured)

13.4 – the percentage of adults in 2018 who reported they were in poor physical health for 14 or more days. (People who benefit from coverage in Medicaid expansion states report improvements in their health outcomes.)  (Source: NC Budget & Tax Center)

2.68 – Number of times by which infant mortality for Black babies exceeds rate for whites (Medicaid expansion can help reduce infant mortality, particularly for Black infants) (Ibid.)

– North Carolina ranks 9th worst in the nation for the high share of our population living without the security that health insurance coverage provides (Source: America’s Health Rankings)

1,155 – A recent study by the Center for American Progress projects 1,155 lives could be saved in North Carolina annually with Medicaid expansion (Source: Center for American Progress)

5 – the number of days since the  Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released a new study from doctors at the University of Pennsylvania that found Medicaid expansion has been linked to lower cardiovascular mortality rates in adults (Source: JAMA)

63 – the number of days since Republican Representatives Lambeth, Murphy, Dobson and White introduced HB 655 – the latest version of the ‘Carolina Cares’ bill, which includes a controversial work requirement for Medicaid recipients

62 – the number of days since HB 655 was referred to the House Committee on Health

16 – the number of days since the NC Business Council released a powerful op-ed calling on state lawmakers to embrace Medicaid expansion as an “opportunity to energize the state’s business climate with thousands of new jobs, millions in new consumer spending, and lowered health costs for all.” (Source: Raleigh News & Observer)

14 – the number of days since Senate leader Phil Berger said Medicaid expansion would not be included in the state budget, maintaining that it ‘disincentivizes folks to go to work’ (Source: Progressive Pulse)

20 – the number of days remaining before the start of the new fiscal year