Make Sure Voters Know: All North Carolinians Would Benefit from Closing the Coverage Gap

Given the upcoming elections and legislative session, it is a crucial time to spread the word and write about the importance of Medicaid expansion in your local newspapers.

Why is Medicaid expansion so critical for North Carolina?

  • Expanding Medicaid would benefit all North Carolinians by boosting our economy through an increase in job growth and business activity across the state, in addition to extending health coverage to an estimated 500,000 Tar Heels.

You may find the following themes helpful as you write your letter. Contact the Health Advocacy Project at the NC Justice Center if you need further assistance or information.

Use these key messages if you want to write about the benefits of Medicaid expansion on the NC economy:   

  • Many expansion states report that closing the coverage gap has been a significant contributor to job growth and economic support to many rural hospitals. Unfortunately, the Governor and state lawmakers continue to resist expansion, thus rejecting $4.9 million in federal funding daily. 
    • Recent research has shown that Marketplace premiums in expansion states are 7 percent lower than Marketplace premiums in non-expansion states.
    • It is projected that NC would see 43,000 jobs enter the state by 2020 were we to follow the lead of the other states.
    • Closing the coverage gap is estimated to prevent close to 15,000 from facing catastrophic medical bills annually.

Use these key messages if you want to write about the benefits of Medicaid expansion for behavioral health:

  • Closing the coverage gap will not only address physical health concerns but also help nearly 150,000 Tar Heels gain access to behavioral healthcare.
    • In 2015, several expansion states reported expected savings of between $7 million to $190 million as result of reduced uncompensated care for behavioral health disorders.
    • States can expect to have a more productive workforce, as research shows that when workers receive treatment for substance use disorders, employers experience $5,366 annually in savings from reduced absenteeism alone.

Use these key messages if you want to write about the benefits of Medicaid expansion for combating chronic illness:

  • Controlling risk factors for chronic illness can decrease one’s risk of developing heart disease and strokes later on. Expansion states have seen a 23% increase in diagnosis of diabetes versus 0.4% in non-expansion states.
  • In North Carolina nearly 30,000 diabetics would get much needed medication if we closed the coverage gap.

Step 1 - Select a Recipient

Letter to the Editor

The Letter to the Editor Section is one of the most widely read sections of the newspaper and can reach a large audience. It allows community members to comment on the way issues are being addressed in the media and to influence the topics the local paper may choose to cover. Elected officials often monitor this section of the newspaper and take notice of constituents' opinions.

We've made it easy for you to contact your local newspaper with your views, but editors want to hear from you in your own words.

Look for papers within miles of zip code

Step 2 - Write your message