Activist groups urge lawmakers to pass Medicaid expansion during day of action

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Calls for expanding Medicaid in NC
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Calls for expanding Medicaid in NC

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Expanding Medicaid continues to be a major issue in North Carolina. Activists urged people to get involved on Tuesday across the state and spoke with legislators in Raleigh.

"We had volunteers all over the state make these child-made umbrellas we can deliver to members of the legislature to remind them that Medicaid is a program that helps families weather any storm," said Felicia Burnett of MomsRising.

MomsRising along with other activist groups handed out 170 of those umbrellas and storybooks full of real experiences of North Carolinians living without insurance.

"I can't explain to you how heartbreaking it is. Just regular North Carolinians that are hurting, that are being harmed, are sick," said Rebecca Cerese, NC Justice Center.

MomsRising says there are a half a million uninsured North Carolinians and 120,000 of those are parents. It's hoping lawmakers will pass a Medicaid expansion and lower those numbers.

"When parents have access to health insurance - that bolsters the health and economic security of the family and improves the health of the entire family," Burnett said.

These groups are hoping this day of action will push lawmakers to vote in favor of an expansion.

So far, three Medicaid bills have been introduced this session - including a Republican-sponsored bill in the House.