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Local leaders to attend listening session on closing the healthcare gap on Friday

Care4Carolina Business Advisory Council and NC Rural Center co-sponsor nonpartisan
Town Hall listening session at Southwestern Community College on economic impact of
closing the healthcare gap in NC

North Carolina leaders have proposed closing the state’s healthcare coverage gap, which could result in over 600,000 North Carolinians gaining access to health insurance. North Carolina currently covers parents with incomes up to 42 percent of the poverty line and generally does not cover adults without dependent children. The expansion would lift income criteria to 138 percent of the poverty line for adults 19 to 64 ($29,400 for a family of three). North Carolina is one of 12 states that has not expanded Medicaid; only eight states in the U.S. have more austere income guidelines.

If North Carolina successfully passes legislation to close the healthcare gap, data shows that in a single Calendar Year, over 600,000 more people will gain healthcare coverage. This will rise to about 634,000 people in 2022, then stabilize. New federal funding flowing into North Carolina will rise by $2.8 billion in 2019 and gradually climb to $4.7 billion by 2022 because the federal government would pay 90 percent of Medicaid costs for newly eligible adults. From 2020 to 2022, North Carolina will gain $11.7 billion more in federal funding.

The COVID-19 relief package, passed last week, provides states with a new incentive to close their coverage gaps: a two-year, 5% increase in the federal match rate for Medicaid. For North Carolina, that would mean an influx of between $1.7 and $2.4 billion over the next two years.

To further examine the economic impact closing the healthcare gap can have on North Carolina,Care4Carolina’s Business Advisory Council and the NC Rural Center have teamed up to host a listening session on the potential economic impacts of closing the healthcare gap in NC through Medicaid Expansion on Friday, March 26 beginning at 3 p.m in the Myers Auditorium on the Jackson County Campus of Southwestern Community College with networking and the program
to start at 3:30.

Southwestern Community College will be live-streaming the event for public viewing at
https://livestream.com/southwesterncc/menc2021. Local government leaders and members of the media are invited to attend in-person. Social distancing practices will be observed and masks are required.

The Town Hall-style event will feature Special Guests, Senator Kevin Corbin, Representative Karl Gillespie, and Representative Mike Clampitt. The program will feature a special panel of local, state, and regional economic and healthcare experts.

Panelists include Sarah Thompson, Executive Director of the Southwestern Commission, Casey Cooper, CEO of Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority, Dale Wiggins, Graham County Commissioner and member of Governor Roy Cooper’s Council on Healthcare Coverage, Ronnie Beale, Vice-Chair of the Macon County Board of Commissioners, Patrick Woodie, President of the North Carolina Rural Center, and Peg O’Connell with Care4Carolina.

After panelists speak, questions from the public will be answered. Questions can be submitted to Care4Carolina by emailing erica@care4carolina.com no later than Thursday, March 25.

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