Health in­surance gap

The News & Observer (Sunday) - - Opinion -

It is past time that the North Car­olina State Leg­is­la­ture ad­dress ex­pand­ing health in­surance cov­er­age for low-in­come in­di­vid­u­als. With the new po­lit­i­cal makeup in both bod­ies, our elected of­fi­cials must have the courage to con­sider all av­enues for ex­pan­sion. Even those re­spon­dents re­luc­tant to back a growth in Med­i­caid cov­er­age can im­ple­ment other ways to pro­vide health in­surance to low-in­come peo­ple that in­clude shared re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Ev­ery day we de­lay ac­tion, fam­i­lies who have no health in­surance are suf­fer­ing and dy­ing. There are nearly 400,000 unin­sured peo­ple in our state who are in the in­surance gap. Their in­comes are too high to qual­ify for Med­i­caid, but too low to af­ford pri­vate in­surance. These are work­ing fam­i­lies, not loafers, with pay­ing jobs whose com­bined in­comes don’t cover their fam­ily’s liv­ing ex­penses and health in­surance.

It is time for all work­ing peo­ple of NC in this health in­surance gap to have ac­cess to health in­surance. The GA needs to come to­gether, take no­tice of the 34 other states that have made the health of their cit­i­zens a pri­or­ity, and find a so­lu­tion for all North Carolini­ans.

Frank Amend Rocky Mount

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