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In the framework of the celebration of the twelve years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, for its acronym in English), El Centro Hispano (ECH) asks state legislators to prioritize the expansion of the Medicaid program during the next period of ordinary sessions, known as a “short session.”
The General Assembly will resume functions from next May 18. North Carolina is one of 12 states that have not expanded the federally co-funded state-run health insurance program for low-income families.
Pilar Rocha-Goldberg, president and general director of ECH, a non-profit Latino-based organization, recalled that the expansion of Medicaid has contributed to closing the gaps in terms of coverage, access to services, preventive care and protection against discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and arbitrary limitations.
In North Carolina, more than 2.1 million residents are enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but more than one million people still have no coverage at all.
“Every mom in the United States wants the best for her children and her family. That goal is within reach, but policymakers must take steps to enable everyone to get affordable coverage,” Rocha-Goldberg said.
The ECH representative indicated that closing the gap in Medicaid coverage in North Carolina would benefit more than 500,000 people in the state. Medicaid is for eligible low-income families, children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities.
“We cannot and will not continue to fall behind in providing adequate care for low-income women, children and families. It is time to put people first, before politics and money”, said the president of ECH.
The expansion of affordable health insurance programs has also helped reduce racial disparities in states with Medicaid expansion policies. However, the Hispanic/Latino uninsured rate in North Carolina is three times the national average of uninsured people in the United States.
According to data from the North Carolina Justice Center, three out of ten Latinos do not have any type of coverage or access to health services in North Carolina, where they represent 10.7% of the total population of the state (2020 Census) .
Courtesy: El Centro Hispano Press.