50 Days From Primary: Forest, Grange Fighting A Losing Battle On Medicaid Expansion

Jan 13, 2020

Monday, January 13, 2020
CONTACT: Liz Doherty

50 Days From Primary: Forest, Grange Fighting a Losing Battle on Medicaid Expansion

WSJ: “Spotlights heats up on N.C. GOP as another red state reaches Medicaid expansion compromise”

RALEIGH – Today marks 50 days to the primary election. Tomorrow, legislators will return to Raleigh to resume the 2019 session. Last week, the Democratic governor and the Republican senate majority leader in Kansas agreed on a Medicaid expansion compromise, and so Kansas became the 38th state (and 15th red state) to expand Medicaid.

Despite increasing evidence that shows the consistency of the federal government in meeting its 90% contribution to cover additional administrative costs of expansion and the effectiveness of Medicaid expansion, Republican gubernatorial candidates Dan Forest and Rep. Grange remain on the wrong side of the argument. 

Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent cited a critical quote in a column from Phil Cox, a former head of the Republican Governors Association: “The battle has been fought and lost on Medicaid expansion.” Forest and Rep. Grange are fighting a losing battle.

As the Winston-Salem Journal notes, North Carolina and “particularly its unyielding Senate Republican leadership” is in the national spotlight on Medicaid expansion for all the wrong reasons. As Dan Forest and Rep. Grange duke it out in a bitter Republican primary for governor, and voters begin to see daylight between the candidates on some issues, one thing remains clear: Forest and Grange are turning their backs on 500,000+ North Carolinians who stand to benefit from Medicaid expansion.


  • North Carolina, particularly its unyielding Senate Republican leadership, is in the national spotlight on Medicaid expansion as the legislature resumes its 2019 session Tuesday.

  • A national study found that at least 1,400 North Carolinians may have died between 2014 and 2017 because the state has not expanded Medicaid coverage.

  • Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent wrote in December that “Medicaid expansion keeps breaking through in red America. Next stop: North Carolina?”

  • “This move makes the (seven) Southern block of states look more and more like stubborn outliers in refusing to even consider more conservative versions of Medicaid expansion,” Hall said.

  • By comparison, Medicaid currently covers 2.2 million North Carolinians, with projections of expansion adding between 450,000 and 650,000 residents. At 2.65 million participants, that would represent 25% of the state’s population, while at 2.85 million, it would represent 26.8%.

  • For the 36 Medicaid expansion states and the District of Columbia, the federal government has been consistent even under the Trump administration in meeting its 90% contribution.

  • A June report sponsored by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and the Cone Health Foundation determined that expanding Medicaid would create more than 37,000 jobs in North Carolina, including 20,600 in the health-care sector, by the end of 2022

READ MORE: Winston-Salem Journal: “Spotlights heats up on N.C. GOP as another red state reaches Medicaid expansion compromise.” By Richard Craver. January 12, 2020.