Durham Council urges state to expand Medicaid - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Durham Council urges state to expand Medicaid

Doctors hold a press conference outside Durham City Hall Monday Aug. 5. Doctors hold a press conference outside Durham City Hall Monday Aug. 5.
DURHAM, N.C. -

Durham City Councilors unanimously approved a resolution calling on state Republicans and Gov. Pat McCrory to reconsider their opposition to an expansion of Medicaid.

Expanding Medicaid eligibility to low-income, uninsured adults is a provision of the Affordable Care Act -- or Obamacare. However, last year, the Supreme Court ruled the federal government could not mandate states expand the program. 

North Carolina and a handful of other states with Republican leadership decided against expansion.

"You said what the General Assembly has done is almost hostile," Councilor Eugene Brown said during a discussion at Monday night's council meeting. "I would suggest it's exceedingly hostile."

Right now, low income children, pregnant women, the elderly and the disabled are covered by the federal program, but as many as 500,000 adults in North Carolina -- 48,000 of them in Durham -- are not covered.

"From just a medical point of view, it's cruel, but it's also cost-awful," Dr. Gary Greenberg said.

Greenberg was a part of a handful of doctors present at Monday's meeting to urge passage of the resolution. He sees many uninsured patients at his free clinic in Wake County. Others, he said, flock to emergency rooms for care, all while federal dollars go unused.

"This is something that is now federal dollars that are being denied to flow back into the state that are instead going to other states," Greenberg said.

The federal government would cover the cost for three years, then some of that cost would begin to trickle back to the states, with the state being on the hook for 10 percent of the cost after 2020.

"Where's the state going to get the money?" Civitas Policy Analyst Brian Balfour asked. "I think there's very legitimate financial concerns."

Balfour believes the objections by Republican lawmakers are mainly over cost and not politics.

"I think the reasons are completely valid," Balfour said. "We've seen Medicaid cost overruns in the state of hundreds of millions, even in excess of over $1 billion."

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

  • Trending StoriesMore>>

  • Car of missing Ga. couple found; bodies inside

    Car of missing Ga. couple found; bodies inside

    Monday, January 26 2015 2:15 PM EST2015-01-26 19:15:38 GMT
    Monday, January 26 2015 5:43 PM EST2015-01-26 22:43:48 GMT
    Bud and June RunionsBud and June Runions
    Investigators had obtained warrants for 28-year-old Ronnie Adrian "Jay" Towns on charges of giving false statements and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. 
    Investigators had obtained warrants for 28-year-old Ronnie Adrian "Jay" Towns on charges of giving false statements and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. 
  • ICE: Driver charged with killing 3 in Hoke Co. in US illegally

    ICE: Driver charged with killing 3 in Hoke Co. in US illegally

    Monday, January 26 2015 3:31 PM EST2015-01-26 20:31:21 GMT
    Monday, January 26 2015 11:38 PM EST2015-01-27 04:38:03 GMT
    VelaVela

    Rodolfo Marin Vela, 29, of St. Paul's is charged with hitting and killing three people in Hoke County.

    Rodolfo Marin Vela, 29, of St. Paul's is charged with hitting and killing three people in Hoke County.

  • Female veteran shamed for parking in veterans-only spot

    Female veteran shamed for parking in veterans-only spot

    Monday, January 19 2015 3:42 PM EST2015-01-19 20:42:56 GMT
    Monday, January 19 2015 6:33 PM EST2015-01-19 23:33:12 GMT
    An Air Force veteran found a note criticizing her for parking in a veterans-only spot. (WECT)An Air Force veteran found a note criticizing her for parking in a veterans-only spot. (WECT)
    An Air Force veteran who served in Kuwait found a note on her car Friday criticizing her for parking in a veterans-only spot.
    An Air Force veteran who served in Kuwait found a note on her car Friday criticizing her for parking in a veterans-only spot.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2015 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.