Health Care is Personal for Me
September 15, 2020
by Terri LeGrand
When my daughter was in ninth grade, she started fainting. That was the first sign of what was to become a four-year odyssey of doctors visits, tests, misdiagnoses, missed school, and missed work. There were also many tears of frustration and concern as my beautiful daughter cycled through illness after illness.
I was incredibly fortunate because I had a good job with excellent health insurance and schedule flexibility, which enabled me to get my child the care she needed. There were constant bills for the copays and coinsurance and deductibles, and I was lucky to be able to pay them, although often on extended payment plans. I’m grateful my daughter has a diagnosis, is receiving the care she needs, and is able to work a part-time job, but she still struggles.
Having been through these experiences with my daughter, health care is personal for me. The average cost for health care in North Carolina is $8,015 per year, making it the eighth most expensive state for health care in the United States. Health care costs were out of control before the pandemic, but the pandemic has made things worse.
In Forsyth County, 16% of adults and 23% of children are uninsured. In Davie County, 15% of adults and 21% of children are uninsured. With rising costs, it’s no surprise working families are struggling to get the health care they need and deserve. In fact, the vast majority—86 percent—of the non-elderly uninsured in our state belong to working families.
Medicaid expansion would provide coverage for between 450,00 – 650,000 North Carolinians. Medicaid expansion would grow our economy by $4 billion dollars and create over 37,000 new jobs by 2022. Medicaid expansion will expand rural health care access and provide working families in Forsyth County and Davie County with access to affordable health care.
We’re facing the largest public health crisis in the history of our nation. Over 170,000 North Carolinians have tested positive for COVID-19, over 2,000 have died and millions have lost their jobs. Many have lost their health insurance along with their jobs.
I am committed to following the lead of experts, not special interests, so we can make sure every North Carolinian is safe. I will vote for Medicaid expansion to provide access to care for hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians. I’ll fight for investing in mental health care. And I will fight any attempts to take away coverage for pre-existing conditions. I am committed to ensuring that every North Carolinian has access to the health care they need.