NAACP pushes Gov. McCrory to reverse course on Medicaid and unemployment


The NAACP and other protesters made a fresh push Tuesday for Governor Pat McCrory and Republican lawmakers to reverse their decision to block Medicaid expansion and cut unemployment benefits.

Despite the new demands, McCrory is not backing down, but Moral Monday organizers insist they will keep pushing to change his mind.

The latest push came Tuesday morning; a group of about 50 organizers and supporters marched to the Governor's offices at the old State Capitol to deliver a petition signed by over 3,000 North Carolinians.

The march came after a news conference at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church earlier in the day.

Speaker after speaker made the case for a special legislative session aimed at reversing this year's decision cutting unemployment benefits.

They are also calling to reverse course on blocking expansion of the Medicaid program.

The legislature blocked the expansion despite that it is fully funded under the Affordable Care Act the first three years. The state would only pay 10 percent of the cost after that.  

As many as 500,000 North Carolinians in poverty could get access to health care if Medicaid was expanded.

Tuesday's speakers made their argument along moral and religious lines.

"We have to call on this Governor to do what is right. Because taking Medicaid and unemployment from people in the midst of the season of Thanksgiving and Christmas is an exercise in hypocrisy 101," said NAACP President Rev. William Barber

"We pray you have the grace and wisdom to accept the federal funds," he added.

The activists and faith leaders are demanding McCrory convene a special legislative session on Medicaid and unemployment by December 20.

Only eight of the nation's 30 Republican governors have embraced Medicaid expansion but it includes some of the country's most vocally conservative.

"We want the Governor to look at the statements of his colleagues- how can it be good for Jan Brewer and not good for Governor Pat McCrory?" said Rabbi Fred Guttman.

It has been less than a month since the Governor said a special session was out "out of the question."

"As has been learned with Obamacare, new services should not be rolled out until ready. Governor McCrory said he wants to first ensure that the current Medicaid system is fixed," McCrory's office told ABC11.

"I pray that we will be able to give thanks to God for the change of the Governor's mind," said Rev. Cardis Brown.

With time running out for a change in the state's Medicaid policy, the group is staging another "mass" Moral Monday protest rally at the State Capitol on December 23.

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