Medical Doctors Speak Out Against NC Senate’s Attempt to Block Medicaid Expansion
RALEIGH—Medical doctors will attend today’s session of the NC Senate arguing against lawmaker’s attempt to block Medicaid expansion. Below are quotes from the doctors in attendance.
“Medicaid expansion makes sense for both humanitarian and economic reasons. If my patients with high blood pressure can’t get care, some of them will suffer strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure. These avoidable tragedies cause immense human suffering, and the cost of caring for these complications are passed on to society in the form of higher premiums for those able to purchase health insurance. So we all pay more for worse outcomes.”
Perri Morgan, PA-C, PhD
Duke Physician Assistant Program
“This decision, besides being mean spirited, will increase the costs to all North Carolinians. The Affordable Care Act by providing access to care for thousands more North Carolinians, will keep them out these citizens out the hospitals and emergency rooms, thus reducing costs. When an uninsured patient is treated those costs are passed on North Carolinians with insurance, hence your rates will continue to go up and up every year. The decision by the Governor and the legislature may at first appear to be penny wise, but it is decidedly pound foolish.”
Charles Van Der Horst, MD
UNC Professor of Mediciine
“My patients look at Medicaid as the gold standard of solid healthcare for the poor. In my clinic, patients with few resources regularly have to decide between paying for medicine and paying for food or utilities. All people deserve a fair shot at a healthy life, but in our country you are much more likely to die young or suffer disabling illness if you’re poor. We need to strengthen Medicaid so that no one has to wait until their treatable illnesses have gotten to the point of serious organ damage before they get care.”
Daniella Zipkin, MD
Duke Assistant Professor of Medicine
Now that the Congress, the Supreme Court and then a Presidential election have endorsed this law, it’s time we began to cope with the reality it creates.
Our medical practice works fulltime to compensate for our sick patients’ inability to find affordable coverage. We borrow favors, negotiate charity resources and coordinate hundreds of volunteers. We impose on every commercial vendor to obtain tests, medications and procedures. It’s questionable how we’ll continue to obtain these services once the state CHOOSES to turn down Federal support to pay for care at bargain price.
The careful analyses of the Dept of Insurance and the NC Institute of Medicine show clearly how cost-effective the state’s investment will be. Since the Federal dollars are taken from NC taxpayers anyway, it seems crazy that we’d turn down the chance to make targeted use of such an opportunity, leaving other states to benefit from their contribution, while mean-spirited ideologues block this fully funded forward step for N. Carolina.
Gary Greenberg, MD