NAACP: Medicaid expansion would negate lost subsidies in NC

The NAACP is pushing hard for lawmakers to approve Medicaid expansion efforts in North Carolina to give half a million state residents an alternative should they lose private insurance subsidized by the government under the Affordable Care Act.

The push comes as the U.S. Supreme Court today is scheduled to open deliberations on a lawsuit that could effectively withdraw those government health insurance subsidies for millions of low-income Americans. State Rep. Rosa Gill (D-Wake) on Monday pleaded with lawmakers to approve a measure to expand North Carolina's Medicaid program to cover more than half a million state residents who would lose their subsidies should the Supreme Court rule in favor of plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell case.

Gill said insurance companies, medical professionals and others may also become financially unstable if Medicaid expansion isn't approved in the state. 

The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that states could not be forced to expand their Medicaid programs, although officials believed most would. North Carolina is among the vast majority of states that didn't have their own health insurance exchanges set up during open enrollment. 

King v. Burwell plaintiffs have argued that the ACA only legally allows subsidies provided by state health exchanges, not HealthCare.gov. At risk in King v. Burwell are the subsidies about 9 million Americans are getting from enrolling for health insurance through HealthCare.gov.

The NAACP, which hasn't taken a national policy stand on Medicaid expansion, partnered with state and local leaders to host an “Affordable Care Act Tour” last year in Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix and throughout New Jersey.  

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