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Senate | March 24, 2015 | Press Room | Press Conference: Representative Adcock

Full MP3 Audio File

Let's get started. OK, I think we're going to start, get started. Thank you everybody for coming today. Are we all, everybody divided so all I'm going to do is just introduce our speaker today we're here on medicate expansion advocacy day I'm talking about closing the health insurance coverage gap in the states. So speaking in this order today will be representative Gail Adcock first the Senator Terry Van Den, then we'll have when Van Den sharing her story then we'll have Mr. Mark Z Zell right here then we'll have Miss Catherine Hanin sharing her personal story and then we'll have representative Cailer Caniham and then we will have closing out will be Clare Hamn from North Carolina Aids Action Network who will announce the petitions and where those are going. thank you very much and we'll begin with Representative [xx]. Good morning thanks for being here on this exciting day, as a nurse practitioner in primary care for almost 30 years I recognize the human an impact of not having health insurance. But working at a large company that's my day job, my time as a town councilwoman in cary and my the involvement with my local chamber of commerce also gave me an appreciation of the economic benefits of expanding healthcare access, North Carolina has an opportunity to bring more that two billion, that's billions of our tax dollars every year back home to take care of our own people and boast our own businesses consider this a report commission by the Cone Health Foundation and the KB Reynolds Charitable Trust found that expanding health coverage to 500000 more people in our state will create 43000 jobs in 2020 the same report finds that bringing home our tax dollars will have a ripple effect across the economy as people are able to pay for medical care and medical offices in turn are able to higher more people and those employees can shop at local groceries stores or restaurants, this growing wave will deliver more than 860 million in additional state revenue and more than $160 million in additional county revenue by 2020. Hospitals of course are dramatically impacted by healthcare coverage in our community in Wright county Wright med health and hospitals and Rex healthcare are two of the largest employers, all across our state in urban and rural counties a like hospitals have thousands of workers many times they are the largest employer and a community. Too many of these healthcare institutions are struggling, even hospitals in wealthier counties due to federal state cuts, now we are inflicting more harm by denying these healthcare systems additional revenue and reduce charity care loads. As I mentioned at the beginning of my remarks, there is a human toll when people can't access prevented for primary care, but we're also hurting our economies. Our local businesses and are hospitals that leaving our text dollars in Washington, the bill we're introducing today expand health insurance coverage, this is a common sense policy that is gained by partisans support across the country, there's no reason that they should be different here in North Carolina thank you. And I'm Terry Bien Diana I'm from Vancan county and I server in the Senate, and I am very grateful for you for being here today and for being willing to listen to us. This is a issue that's very important to me. Before when I was appointed to the senate, I worked as an ACA Navigator and that means I helped folks get access to health care by getting insurance and one day I was working with this gentleman and he asked me if he could lay down on the floor and it was because I was the only way he could get relieve from the excruciating pain he suffered because of kidney stones. And he could not afford the procedure that could have given him permanent relief. So he was almost in tears when I told them, we had gotten him signed up and he could call a doctor. So you could imagine how rewarding that work was. Except when I

had someone that I had to tell that they were just too poor for me to help. That in spite of the fact that they were worked and worked hard they didn't make enough money to qualify for assistance. Now it would be one thing if we were turning a blind eye and die to their suffering because it made economic sense, but clearly it does not. Right now we are saying North Carolina middle class tax dollars to states like Kentucky, Arkansas and New Jersey instead of creating valuable job opportunities for hard working families right here. We've been talking a lot in the legislator about economic development. Well take taking medicaid  dollars would have huge economic development impact. The numbers are staggering. As you've heard the Cong health foundation for in 2015 alone said that this decision will cost North Carolina £3.3 billion. That money would have created 29000 jobs, and it's people in those jobs clothe their families, go to the grocery store, by homes, pay taxes, the riffle effect of taking medicaid dollars will create a total of 43, 000 jobs by 2020. That is real economic development. This week we begin to debate how we can address the needs of our rural communities. Wouldn't it make sense to make keeping their hospitals open a priority? Taking Medicaid dollars will have huge impact, not just on the rural hospitals, but on all other hospitals. And would you locate a business in an area that did not have adequate access to healthcare? I think not. So make no mistake about it, that the decision to keep sending our tax dollars back to Washington will effect each and every person in North Carolina, as hospitals throughout the state are forced to cut back on services. That hurts our economy, it costs us jobs, and it harms the people of North Carolina. That is why I am proud to have introduced to bill with sentative[sp?] through SHE senator Robinson that calls for medicaid expansion. We need to expand medicate now. Thank you. Good Morning. My name is Linda Don[sp?], and I come to you this morning from the rural counties the green and renol. I have a 44 year old daughter who is single with no children and a 20 year history of various chronic health problems. Only recently have we learned that she has also struggled with mental illness since childhood. My daughter was employed with the state of North Carolina in a job that she loved until almost four years ago, when her declining health forced her to accept long-term disability. She applied for social security disability, but was denied, as was her appeal. since this past August when her state disability benefits ended, she has had no means of income and no medical insurance. She has survived on the kindness of family friends and the limited social services organizations in our county, the little house that she was so proud to purchase 10 years ago is being sold at public auction in two days. She went through this past weekend with no electricity, her father who is 71 years old and the two year cancer survivor has taken a job driving a medical van to help her with expenses and my long anticipated dreams to travel in retirement have been deferred while I work as a caregiver in a nursing home and house clean for it good morning, by dollar this application for medicaid was denied and is currently in appeal but we've been given no encouragement to expect it will be approved, for emotional state which was [xx] at birth now [xx] on title collapse she has been stripped of her career, her health, her home and her dignity. Each day I live in fear, that she would take her life.

If North Carolina had expanded the medicare program as many other states had done our daughter could be receiving the medical and psychiatric care she so desperately needs. Quality will not solve all of her problems it would be a life saving step in the right direction. So help her turn her life around, as well as give us aging parents some peace of mind neither she nor her father nor her [xx] not expect a handout. We just desperately need a saving hand to save our daughter. My name is Mark [xx] I represent the Addiction Professionals of North Carolina. We're a group representing all these needs and interests of over 6000 sort of professionals include those who provide treatment services, those who provide prevention services and those in research. We know that a number of people in North Carolina with certain huge disorder are uninsured and have no access to medical care, What we also know in North Carolina is been a number of those people who have coexisting and co-occurring disorders. The effect physical illnesses or psychiatric illness A lot of these people turn very, very low income disability is the leading indicator of poverty in this country. But for many low income adults who take being healthy ensure coverage is difficult for impossible, given our current medicate system. Expanding health insurance coverage in North Carolina would allow all more people with very treatable disease of addiction to get the help they need. It would make tremendous financial set because substance use disorder as a disorder which is consistent throughout the number of people lost is very costly a health appears article on 2014 estimated beginning health insurance to more North Carolinians will lead to 45, 000 fewer people in North Carolina with the illness of depression, for every dollar we spend treating addiction, we say $22 in the health care system and especially in the criminal justice system expanding health care coverage will not get treatment to everyone who needs it but it's an important first step and those of us who substance abuse disorder community and those who care about those with substance use disorder, strongly urge passage of this Bill. Thank you. Hi, my name is Cathleen Hanen, and I'm a self-employed songwriter, musician and song leader. I direct two community choruses, and I've often led singing at music festivals and interface events. In the past I've been a preschool music teacher, I've been in many bands over the years. I've sang door to door with children in hospitals in Durham and Chapel Hill, and I've taught music workshops for preschsool teachers through project enlightenment here in Raleigh. It's my experience that many people, including tourists, benefit greatly from the contributions that I and other musicians make to the life and culture here in North Carolina and I love my work yet it's challenging to make a living as a musician and I've never been able to afford health insurance, so I was excited when the affordable healthcare passed and I was disappointed when North Carolina did not accept medicare expansion funding. I hope that North Carolina will take the opportunity to expand medic aid so that low income musicians and other people like me in the gap will be covered, I want to leave in a acommunity where both music and health care are available for everyone, thanks so much for the people that are working to make that a reality. thank you, representative Carla [xx] from Mecklengburg County.

First I would like to thank my colleagues for their commitment to medicate expansion, all of the you representatives in representative, Beverly [xx], representative Piers and representative Quinn who are all present here and representative Gail Arcock[sp?] and senator Terry Vandan. Additionally I want to thank each one of you for your presence here today and your support, please allow me to up live just a few words about medicate expansion in North Carolina. Medicate expansion cartesy with stable rise and families and improving the quality of health for 100, 000 people in our state. It could provide mental health services for approximately 88, 000 individuals with mental illness according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It could create approximately 29-40, 000 jobs in the health care sector. It could eliminate the loss of life for over 1, 500 people that reside in North Carolina now family USA report estimates that before affordable care past nearly 1, 000 North Carolina people die every year between 2005 and 2010 due to the lack of health insurance. Let me additionally say that even though we have not expanded medicate the North Carolina EDS ACA the 5th anniversary and we know that thousands of people North Carolina picked up top 5th in the country for getting people to sign on to the ACA. fortunately because medicate expansion did not take place we still have the working poor that are not covered and can't get care. We really need to think through our souls, look at out compassion in our hearts and find some courage to continue to advocate for medic care the list of this, I spoke to the governor last week at a brief meeting we had, and what I had to say to him was please let me know, if you decide to expand Medicaid, because that is the conversation that needs to be heard, [xx] and deaf, it does not not discriminate, it does not wear a Republican budge and it does not wear a Democratic badge, this is a non-discriminatory effort in the State of North Carolina, and we need we need to find some kind of way to come together to cover that 500, 000 people in the State of North Carolina with proper health care services. Thank you. Hi, I'm Clare Herman with the North Carolina Aids Action Network and I am humbled to be here, with so many incredible leaders and advocates today to speak about this very critical issue. Today, we are going to deliver the name North Carolinians from five different organizations who are calling on governor McCrory and on the general assembly to expand Medicaid. These five organizations have collected 43, 000 names in favor of Medicaid expansion. That's about one name for every job that will be created. I'm going to read you just briefly one sentence from each of these petitions because they're all very different, but I think they illustrate the waves that this one policy impacts the lives of so many of us. So from Progress North Carolina, who has more than 16, 000 names on their petition. As a North Carolina taxpayer, I urge governor McCrory and the general assembly to expand Medicaid and stop spending our federal tax dollars to pay for Medicaid expansion in other states. From Working America who has 17, 000 signatures on their petition. They'll be delivering about 4, 700 of those today and more than 1, 200 of those in the weeks to come. governors across the country have been changing course and accepting Federal Medicaid expulsion dollars, they know it's important and they know that the public want it. From the North Carolina Aids Action Network which has more than 7600 people who have signed its petition, when it comes to healthcare every North Carolinian has the right to be covered. From Plan Parenthood Southf Atlantic who have more than 2000 postcards that they are delivering today, access to preventative care saves lives and saves individuals, families and taxpayers money. And from healthcare of North Carolina who will be delivering more than 350 petitions today, as the Revered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Said, of all the forums of inequality injustice and healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane. Please explain Medicaid now, thank you.  OK and I open the floor for questions for

questions, if you just say who you're addressing your question to and what it is, thank you. Anybody has questions? Hi, I'm [xx] from the UNC for the representative Edcar[sp?]. I wonder if you tried to communicate with house leadership at all, [xx] you found the bill? Yes and what kind of feedback did you get? Positive. Do you have any gauge on the chances of this? Well that's a different question, I would like to think that we've come a long way in two years I think we've certainly heard from citizens more than ever before, I think that was may be an assumption on the fronting end in 2013 that our state would do the right thing because often it has stepped up to do the right right thing but that didn't happen two years ago and I think the tide is turning, I think there's a realization today that perhaps there wasn't two years ago of the economic impact of expanding medic aid, I mean it's the right thing to do, it's the right thing to do for business reasons as well and I think there's some appetite for that among my colleagues in the General assembly. What about the governor's office, he has [xx] is not perhaps not said very directly but yes hinted that he's interested in the North Carolina plan, if you've spoken at all to anybody in his office and if you have a any gauge for what their feeling is about this version that you're filing? I do not know the specifics of the North Carolina plan but I would love to talk with him about that and others because anything that will get us from where we are now closer to the goal of covering 500, 000 people who need heath care is a good step. Thank you. Actually I would like to ask Senator Van Duyn the same question but have you spoken to the leadership in the senate and what is their response? I have not spoken to leadership in the senate and I shouldn't speak for them I do know that their concern has to do around reforming medicate before we do the expansion I think this is a classic portion cut argument I'm not sure we can reform medicate that we can report to reform medicate we do the expansion we need those dollars to build the infrastructure, that we would need to do a good job of medicate reform. I am aware of what they tried to do with medic aid reform last year and I have been speaking with people in Bravken[sp?] County, my hospital and my [xx] for example, smoking mounting about plans that they have around addressing the problem of how do we keep medic aid or [xx] help keep health care cost down while improving people's health, and they are working very hard in approaches that will do that and I would fully support those kinds of efforts, provider led schemes that help keep the class of medic aid down with strategies that make people healthy as Courtney mentioned the governor has hinted at expanding Medic Aid as his secretary, however they both said that they would not consider doing anything like his until after the [xx] decision came out in June, that's going to be very close to he end of the session. Folks who are in the Legislator is there any chance of getting something like that through the Legislator, say if we have a Supreme court decision on section 24th I don't predict what happens in the legislature just like [xx] [xx] lost my [xx] I've always found that where there's a will there's a way when it comes to the General Assembly, I' sure that it would be possible and it and I hope that the pressure will be there and the interest would be there and I agree that there is interest on the other side of the