Apparently Andy Hendry allowed his zeal to disparage the General Assembly to blind him from the facts. He opined that Medicaid expansion would “cost the state nothing,” an untruth that renders the rest of his opinion mute.

Medicaid costs in North Carolina are $14 billion annually, only two-thirds of which are funded by federal dollars. The balance is paid by North Carolina taxpayers ($4.62 billion annually).

Adding 500,000 people to the Medicaid program in North Carolina is estimated to cost North Carolina taxpayers an additional $6 billion between 2020-2030. Not to mention, an additional 500,000 individuals added to the current system would put existing Medicaid participants at risk, limiting their access to healthcare by crowding the system with new participants.

Studies show that overcrowded Medicaid rolls increase emergency room visits as enrollees are unable to receive services in a timely manner through Medicaid and then turn to the most costly means of receiving medical care, again, increasing costs.

Overlooking the fact that federal taxpayer dollars are paid by you, me and Mr. Hendry, the direct cost to North Carolina taxpayers would be over $56 billion between 2020-2030. That may be “nothing” to Mr. Hendry, but I think the rest of us would disagree.

Scott McLeod, Carthage

Publisher’s Note: This is a letter to the editor, submitted by a reader, and reflects the opinion of the author. The Pilot welcomes letters from readers on its Opinion page, which serves as a public forum. The Pilot is not in the business of suppressing public opinion. We are a forum for community debate, and publish almost every letter we receive. For information on how to make a submission, visit this page: https://www.thepilot.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/

(1) comment

Kent Misegades

A voice of reason - thank you. The best way to bankrupt our state is by expanding Medicaid. Look at the medical insurance for state employees and retirees - it has teetered on the edge of insolvency for years. When government (actually, taxpayers) pays medical bills, people tend to use medical services more and have no incentive to save money. Pay it all yourself out of pocket and through private insurance, and medical expenses are the lowest. It’s no wonder that more and more medical providers refuse Medicaid patients. Increasingly some reject all insurance payments due to the paperwork and long time before being paid. These providers take cash, cost far less and even make house calls as was common decades ago before the government started meddling in the medical industry. A fundamental question about Medicaid - what right does the government have to confiscate my property (money) to pay my neighbor’s medical bills? I might help them voluntarily of course, but what the government does now is simply theft.

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