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Joint | May 25, 2016 | Press Room | Press Conference McKissick

Full MP3 Audio File



[INAUDIBLE] [CROSSTALK] [CROSSTALK] [UNKNOWN] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [NOISE] [INAUDIBLE] [NOISE] [INAUDIBLE] >> [LAUGH] [SOUND] >> I'm Senator Floyd Prozanski and I wanna thank all of you for being here this afternoon for this press conference. I know that a lot of the press was covering a bill that was being discussed [UNKNOWN] committee so I suspect some of them Will still be listing in, some of them will be joining us. I think important thing today, is that each and everyone of you that's present, regardless of whether you're someone who is a medicate provider, somebody who's concerned about the quality of healthcare in North Carolina or somebody who'd benefit from medicated [UNKNOWN], you're all here To support this issue, an important issue for North Carolina. It's important for variety of reasons. First of all, we have somewhere, been [UNKNOWN] 340000-500000 people in the state that could benefit from medicate expansion. Those are people that desperately need healthcare services today, what are they doing? They're going to the emergency rooms, they're not getting preventive care and the cost of providing adequate care is enormous and we all bear that cost. The most important thing is that, if medicaid was expanded, under the Affordable Care Act, as 31 other states have done, if North Carolina were to do that, it would not only provide health care for these 500,000 people, but more importantly, we've also seen significant economic boost in this state. And when I say that, what are you talking about, the potential for about 43,000 jobs that would be related to health care, that would be provided here in North Carolina. CarWe're talking about the fact that when it comes to substance abuse and mental health,

it is about 124,000 people today that don't receive any types of benefits that could be covered if medicated span can occurs in this state. And that is why you've seen so many states go forth with medicaid expanded in 31 states, in fact if it's banned in medicare coverage. I'm hopeful, I'm optimistic that due to the fact right now, they're talking about revising medicare, they are talking about going to a fully capitated system that the Federal government in reviewing this application will require medicare expansion as a part of approving this waiver, this 1115 Waiver. I think that's critical because we cannot forsake the healthcare needs of 500,000 people. We cannot flip them on the back burger, we cannot marginalize them, we cannot cause them to only go and get their healthcare needs addressed when there's an emergency at the highest possible cause. We have a commitment to those that need those services to provide it. We have a mechanism to provide it, we're turning down $2 billion a year right now and of course it was a study done that basically said that if we did in fact expand medicare and even at the point when North Carolina was paying 10% of the cost but it will still pay for itself, it'll still pay for itself in this state, there is no compelling reason, no compelling justification for us not doing it we deserve to have that compassion we deserve to have that humility but more importantly we shouldn't put people in a compromising situation when it comes to their healthcare needs. Medicaid in our state is a complex issue but we're working on it we've gotten to the point now where we are done looking at mounting deficits year after year, what we need to do today is have the elected officials in this state listen to you. Listen to each and everyone of you that has come today knock upon their doors, reap them, [INAUDIBLE] them to understand all the people within the district, within the state that need medicaid coverage but more importantly remain committed to this be relentless because it will not change today but what we can do is provide a pathway, a pathway to reconsider where we are, a pathway that allows those that are unserved to be served, a pathway that shows that when it comes to the least of this nurse state that we have the compassion, that we have the political will that we will provide for their healthcare needs and that in doing so we will make certain that North Carolina is the type of state in which we can all be proud, jobs will be beneficial, the economy will be stimulated, and we are providing for healthcare needs at the same time, so for all of you advocacy groups that are here, thank you I know I have some colleagues here from the general assembly Representative Jill Sam Queen, Representative Augur, Representative Piers as well as others who will probably join us today I wanna thank you for being here, thank you for being committed, thank you for being advocates, but more importantly thank you not just for the work that you will do today but for your relentless commitment to keep this campaign going in North Carolina until the date and point in time where we expand medicate coverage for those that deserve and need to be served, thank you. >> [APPLAUSE] >> I'm Nicole [INAUDIBLE] for the North Carolina Justice center, I'm going to bring up Sanya Taylor, Sanya is from [INAUDIBLE] and she is a mum, she is a grandmother, most of all she is an advocate now and the reason she's an advocate is because she is in the gap, she is here today so law makers can listen to her, I repeat medicaid does not cover all people with low incomes it does not and Sonya is just one of those folks who's here today to tell her story. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Good afternoon my name is Sonya Taylor I am 55 years old, I'm a wife, I'm a mother and a grandmother, I have a history of multiple serious health issues, I have often dealt with mental health issues in the past, I have worked most of my adult life until symptoms from [INAUDIBLE] disease set my life in a downward spiral. This is when the medicaid as we know it came to impact my life. In 2011, I was a patient at the Center for Scoliosis and Spinal Surgery in Greenville North Carolina. After all treatment options were exhausted, I had major back surgery in December of 2011. I had diffusion surgery where I had [UNKNOWN] put in my back.

In 2012, I was just beginning my after care. When my daughter aged out of the system my medicaid was terminated and because of my inability to pay over $200 per visit my surgeon, my doctor, and my surgeon would not see me, I was left here during my recovery without my doctors help and if it had not been for my family, my friends and God's grace, I don't know what I would have done. I also have a partial plate that I work hard and saved my money so I could get the general work I needed. I lost my ability to smile having My partial plate and I've no way to get it fixed, it's a self esteem issue you might say, but it's bad when you feeling like you can't smile. Currently I'm experiencing some serious health problems having lost both of my parents to Cancer And with the symptoms that are present at this time, my doctor wants me to have series of tests and procedure. She wants to rule out cancer but at least get an early enough diagnosis so that it could be treatable. Let me take you back now to September 2015 my oldest son's father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He, like myself, fell into the medicaid gap not qualifying for medicaid yet too young to get source of security and medicare. So, by the time He got sick enough to get medical attention, he was basically given a dose in this, we buried him in February. He had to be terminally ill for the State to give him Medical aid, he only lived five months. Being 55, I have seven years before I'm eligible for such security on Medicare and I do not want to become another statistic. If North Carolina would expand the Medicare Program as other states have, I can get the medical and general care that I so desperately need, please I ask you to do not let my son to lose his mother and his only surviving parent to cancer or other health issues and this Medic aid gap. I'm so grateful to be a voice here today for myself and so many other people, thank you. >> [APPLAUSE] [APPLAUSE] >> Thank you so much Sonya, next I would like to introduce Dr. Steven Lukin from Reeds Ville, Doctor Lukin is a veteran family physician from Rocking-ham County and he recently authored an open letter to Senate President Protain Fieldberger/g and Governor Mccrory that run in the [INAUDIBLE] news and record that I offered examples of his participation to his health and life expectancy were endangered because of the states failure to close coverage gap, Doctor Lukin [BLANK_AUDIO] I don't even know the lady. >> [LAUGH] >> But I know hundreds like her, five minutes. My name is Steve Lukin/g I'm a family doctor, for 25 years my brother and I have practiced together as [INAUDIBLE] family medicine, I've spent an entire career watching in a devastation routinely dropped upon families with no insurance, you name just about any cancer serious disease and I can tell you about uninsured patients who delayed coming to see me and often went disastrous results. I've seen uninsured women die from invasive breast cancer and cervical cancer when they cannot afford simple for Mammograms or checkups, I've hospitalized patients who sought for medicines so they could pay their bills, I've made weekly house calls for months on a patient dying from invasive foreign cancer, because she is simply cannot afford the thousands of dollars to get her [INAUDIBLE] hospital, I stooped into next of kin in funeral homes about an insert patients who ignored their problems until it was too late, I've watched numerous families down through the years into bankruptcy from their medical illness and it surely wasn't because of my bills I will tell you that. On and on the stories go, and so with profound sadness and yes some anger I watched two years ago as our current political leaders decided to put partisan politics ahead of our common humanity when they denied medicated extension to the poor.

This decision was not a profound courage, it wasn't even a reason choice between moral equivalence, this was a life and death calculation. And it was made with callous disregard to the needs of the poor, I cannot help but think how different things would be if half a million of our wealthier residents o our state were somehow denied insurance, imagine the out cry from this very same legislators, so I stand beside the tracks of train wreck and 500,000 North Carolina's were still riding on it and the only ticket off the train seemed for the poor and for the working poor seems to be death or disability. Has Senator [INAUDIBLE] and Governor Mccory ever once sat down and had a solid discussion with any other thousand of their constant constituents in our county that they denied Medicaid coverage, I doubt it, make them wrong, prove me wrong, so I wrote an open later on behalf of those constituency to these two leaders, it was published a month ago in the green sparrow paper, I understand it's one of the most recommended pieces they have ever published not because I'm a great writer, because the issue resonates deeper. The next day, our esteemed governor also presented an opinion piece. Last time I counted 2,300 people recommended this, 11 people recommended Governor Mccory [INAUDIBLE] >> [APPLAUSE] In it, I spoke of a number of my working four patients left out of medicaid coverage, the fellow who in tears told me he had stopped his medicine, ever seen a grown man cry? You're about to see one, I have certainly seen it, and stated he could not afford his blood work nor his medicines, he'd worked a good job, at good factory so he could move home and and keep his mum from being put into the nursing home and for that he was told he was too poor to get insurance coverage in our state, the lady in her 30s with rheumatoid arthritis, she can no longer afford the high price medicines which are her only hope to avoid a future deformity and a future of pain. She wants to keep working she's always told me that but she was towed down at the government center that are our only hope to gain insurance for us to quit and go on disability, this is what our state is telling these folks who went to work. The young [INAUDIBLE] with seizures stuck in a cycle of hospitalizations in yard visits unable to hold jobs and their poor office medicines, now detailed applied of a mother of a severely brain damaged child, a child I have cared for since the night he was born, 20 years ago. Now I cannot see, he cannot hear he's got a feeding tube, he's got a permanent trick and his mother is a saint, she has more, she has so much within her, she's but only kept this down for a while, administering his medicines at proper intervals day and night, remaining at her side day and night and through dozens of hospitalizations and probably a dozen surgeries at this point. because she doesn't earn a wage for her effort fancy that, I was suppose someone can [INAUDIBLE] her able body with a job, She's got a job, she's got a heck of a job. But she isn't left out. She and her husband are left without insurance he is a firm laborer they don't make enough money to gain any insurance our great state of North Carolina. These patients are not takers looking for a handout. Their poor income and their family health status were often beyond their control. Who are we to pass judgement? The fact is in your poverty has left all of them un insurable without medicaid. Rejection medicate expansion may have earned some in this building bonifides and high fives in [INAUDIBLE] circles, but in the real world the real world where I am this decision if for my patients left and right, what kind of politicians would turn their back on this people. Like any family doctors for 30 years, I know what it is like to make a decision that leads to the death of a patient. You're appropriate intervention gone badly, the symptom after consideration [UNKNOWN] reassured. I can tell you it cuts like a knife. You face the family and you fight back the tears. You break up in the middle of the night in a cold of sweat, and you wish you had that moment back. My wife will tell you, it's a load to carry, with Governor Mccory and Senator Berger and the rest of the legislators who voted to deny coverage to my poor patients. You now carry that same weight in my book, you carry that weight You might not know it, you might not admit it but you carry that weight. Some in Rockingham County will shortly die, if some not already because they are part of some decision through the cheque medicated

expansion. To the general assembly, and to Governor McCrory, I ask, please embrace Shared humanity. Either one of them has the power to get this done. What we need, you do not a legacy of accelerate death and illness among the poor to chase you into history and that's what it will do. We approach this issue with an open mind and you will experience a change of heart and open. An open mind, that's all I ask. To the broken down families if the sick, to those too poor to buy seat at this table I say, you've already earned your seat and you're not forgotten and you're not alone in this fight and thank you >> [APPLAUSE] [APPLAUSE] [LAUGH] >> All right, I'm gonna try to do this, so, I'm gonna bring up Doctor Charles Van Der Horst. Doctor Van Der Horst is from Chapel Hill. He's a professor at Meredith at UNC School of Medicine, and a leader at the treatment of HIV and has been so for decades. As a physician, he has seen first hand as Dr. [INAUDIBLE]], a direct impact of the states failure to expand medicaid. I'll bring up another applicant and provider of Dr. Vein/g. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Thank you are you getting tired of me talking about this issue as I a., I try to believe that two years into the affordable [INAUDIBLE] with enormous evidence of its success we have to keep on educating and the governor accepts the consequences of their decisions. This white coats that we're wearing, doctor Luke and I, these are not just symbols, we take care of patients. I left the clinic this morning to be here, as a physician, I volunteer in a clinic in Rally, providing care to the young working poor who don't have insurance. I see the impact of Governor Mccory's decisions on this people every week. They build our houses and companies. They feed us they saw our clothes, they serve our buggers and gritters, they answer our phones and take care of our elderly parents. Yet this hard working folks have nothing, nothing to prevent them from developing serious and costly illnesses. These North Carolinian's would have been covered by health insurance if North Carolina had joined the other 31 states including 13 led by very conservative Republicans who accepted federal dollars, not state dollars to expand medicaid under the Affordable Medicare Act. This part of the affordable Affordable Medicare Act would cover 430,000 North Carolinian's whose income falls below 138% of the poverty level. The decision blocking federally financed medicaid and the continued actions by Senator Berger, Representative Moore, and Governor McCrory are having a real impact on the lives of North Carolinian's, it's no shocker that most of the southern states have refused to expand medicate, this are the same states with the lowest life expectancy in the US, if you are have the misfortune to be born in North Carolina, you die earlier, than if you were born elsewhere. Several studies have shown that the premature death rate in States that have expanded Medicaid, decreases compared to States that do not. In North Carolina, this means an additional 1000 to 2000 deaths per year. That's 1000 to 2000 unnecessary death each year. And God help if you were born in the 14 worst counties in North Carolina. And I have a list I can give those to later. Your chances of prematurely dying are twice that of counties like Orange counties where chapel hill. Mecklenburg where Sharlet is extra. Some of you my think it's extreme for me to say that these legislators have blood on their hands but as a doctor, when I have a patient die from a preventable disease like colon cancer or breast cancer what else can I say, they are the extremist not I. It's also hard to understand how people claiming to be pro-life, determined to protect women and children, they shouted everyday, McCory goes on national TV that he is protecting our women and children yet he's supporting policies that are leading to the deaths of mothers and fathers. Recently I saw a young patient who've been working full time in a good job with health insurance and paying taxes. He had server hypertension or high blood pressure requiring the treatment with four medications.

But he was doing great. Then he developed a complication which affected his balance, sort of mini stroke kind of thing. But he still wanted to work, you see he's a good guy, he wants to contribute to society, he likes working, he doesn't mind paying taxes, but because of his new disability, he couldn't work full time. So, when quick succession, he was laid off which was probably illegal that that happened cuz he was disabled, he lost his health insurance, ran out of his blood pressure medicines, and then of course his blood pressure soared high and began to developed kidney failure, luckily he found a free clinic where I work and we were able to get his blood pressure controlled again. But this young man illustrates both the morally reprehensible nature of the decision not to expand Medicaid as well as the economic folly of not expanding. If he goes on to develop kidney failure, which there's highly likely he will, he'll need dialysis, that costs $77000 a year and whose gonna pay for it? The tax payers of course. So for [UNKNOWN] medications for the blood pressure, we would be on the hook for tens of thousands more. So the decision not to expand is not just morally reprehensible, it's foolish economically, we have now two years of data from states that expanded medicaid. And there are some clear health benefits to the population beyond increased debt. In the country as whole 19 million people now are new insured. The average health care cost increased for mid size. and large large corporations is the lowest since 1996. It's the lowest so our healthcare cost remember we're skyrocketing before the affordable care act is introduced. This might explain that why in a more enlightened chambers of congress operating in those republican led states quietly lobbying for medicaid expansion, doctors in hospitals and expansion states have seen a dramatic decreases in un reimbursed care and that's kept the rural hospitals from closing, not in North Carolina we've had several world hospitals been forced to close because without the medicaid expansion. We're now three years after the legislature and governor McCrory blocked Federally funded expansion to Medicaid for the working poor. So, we want to remind our legislatures of the impact of their decision, the avoidable costs, the intolerable cruelty and the unnecessary deaths. The legislature is in session now, let's stop this deaths, listen to the experts across the State and lift the block on Medicaid expansion. Thank you so much >> [APPLAUSE] >> I know I asked to rule the colleagues here from the General Assembly, I'd like to recognize them at this time if they have any remarks to make. >> I'm [UNKNOWN] he did read them [UNKNOWN] so that's to say [UNKNOWN] If I've been on the front line along my colleagues and I'll I can say is, shame, shame, shame and I just wonder what will the great physician say about this, I know he will say, you did it to the least/g, did you do also unto me. So we have an obligation as a people of goodwill to advocate and continue to knock at the door, And continued to sat what we're saying today. At there people every knock down is not a knock out, so we just get to keep fighting. And I thank my colleagues, we understand the importance of this and I said, I passed the church, so I know many names in my church, my congregation, my community who can not afford to go the doctor Adopted and that's to say in commentary, all that we have in this great country that we can suffer amidst so many other countries with issues that they are facing but here in America, we can't deal with and particularly North Carolina. So, not cuz i think we're the target, but we're dealing with, so I hope that we will continue to pray, keep the faith and know that We've [INAUDIBLE] but joys comes in the morning so we're gonna keep light on fighting, keep on believing. Thank you for allowing me to- >> [APPLAUSE] >> My name is [UNKNOWN] I represent part of [UNKNOWN] country up near [INAUDIBLE] field. I introduce the expand Expand medicate bill in the house. And that evening a reporter called from my home town Ashton citizen. And asked me a lot of questions. And one of the questions he asked was. Well who really opposes this? >> [LAUGH]

>> And you know I hadn't really thought about supposed I had said i have talked to so many healthcare providers, so many of my constituency at home, I have never talked to anybody that was against expansion of medicaid, we're past time to expand medicaid and we need your help, we will Fragile here and just to let you know there are those in the legislature they're behind you. Thanks a lot >> [APPLAUSE] >> Thank you, thank all of you for being, your advocacy work is very important. I am Joe Sam I represent Heywood, Jackson and Swing counties in North Carolina legislature what I would tell you is that citizens of North Carolina pledge allegiance to the flag of The United States of America and we pay our Federal taxes so when they talk about your Federal taxes they're They are talking about your taxes, your dollars the legacy of this governor and this legislature, is they have thrown away 5 billion so far, this year will be seven and a half billion of your tax dollars. We paid them, they've left North Carolina the healthcare is not being provided for our neighbors, that our friends in need, the jobs are not here, and let me tell you, this general assembly will have half a billion more tax revenue dollars from the new jobs created by the caregivers caregivers for this medicate expansion. It is without rationale. It is nothing but political posturing for no reason, find me a reason. everything they have said has been clearly shown not to be true for the reasons not to expand the medicare. We make money all eight years when you consider the treasury when I say we. The citizens and North Carolina's, tax dollars come here and make our economy stronger by losing those dollars, the jobs follow the dollars when we bring those dollars back and spend it on the needs of our citizens we create jobs and we create a stronger economy. This is about all of our future so remember in November. Thank you. >> [APPLAUSE] Once again I wanna thank all of you for being here today, we have our work out for us. I can remember sitting on a committee a few years back and we were discussing the implications of affordable care Act here in North Carolina. One component of that was medicaid expansion. And of course they brought in a speaker to speak about the Affordable Care Act and where they are referring to it as Affordable Care Act, he referred to it as the abominable care act. >> [CROSSTALK] >> And you can see, he wasn't favoring Medicaid expansion or raise a collection to him or do you believe in Medicaid at all? His answer was, no, he thought Medicaid needed to be abolished. I think that's representative of what we're facing in this state, it is certainly a challenge, if there are any questions at this time form the press, the media, we'd certainly be willing to answer them. Not saying any, once again thank you all for being here, thank you for your advocacy, thank you for being those that understand how medicaid expand can benefit North Carolina. Working together we're gonna get job this done. And get you're friends out to vote in November because the of ballot box. We can get people in here who believe in medicate expand can. And a lot more issues that I am passionate about. That's ultimately the weapon that we have. We can change this state, we can turn it around it's up to us not just for us it's about those that don't have medicaid cover today that can benefit but it's most importantly about the next generation and the legacy that we leave, thank you. >> [APPLAUSE] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK-AUDIO] [BLANK-AUDIO]