Press Release

Senator Wiley Nickel Co-Sponsors Bill to Expand Medicaid in North Carolina

By February 14, 2019 No Comments

22,578 people in Wake County would gain access to health care under today’s proposal

January 30, 2019

Raleigh, NC – Today, Senator Wiley Nickel co-sponsored SB3, a proposal to expand Medicaid in North Carolina and increase access to affordable health care for more than 500,000 North Carolinians, including approximately 22,578 in Wake County alone.

“I am proud to co-sponsor SB1 which would expand Medicaid and increase health care coverage for families across Wake County said Senator Nickel. “This bill would help more than 22,578 individuals and families in Wake County gain access to coverage, but the full effects would be felt by our entire community. North Carolinians shouldn’t be forced to put the health of themselves and their families on the back burner because they can’t afford insurance. We can and should ease that burden this year.”

By introducing a bill to expand Medicaid as the first bill of the 2019 legislative session, state Democrats are signaling their number one priority is helping working families. In addition to making health care more affordable for hundreds of thousands of our people, this proposal would boost our economy and create jobs. In Wake County, expanding Medicaid would:

  • Create 4,780 jobs
  • Create over $3 Billion in new business activity
  • Create over $25 Million in new county revenue

Today’s proposal is fiscally responsible; according to estimates, expanding Medicaid will overwhelmingly by paid for by the federal government. Any remaining costs would be funded by a small assessment on hospitals and other health care providers.

Expanding Medicaid is the single most effective thing North Carolina could do to fight the opioid epidemic. Here in Wake County there were 113 opioid deaths and 355 emergency department visits for opioid overdose in 2017 alone. Expanding Medicaid would make addiction and mental health treatment more affordable, allowing those struggling with opioid addiction to get the help they need.

“Expanding Medicaid is good for our people, good for our economy, and good for our those struggling with addiction, and I look forward to speaking with people across my district about why this is such a critical step we must take together,” Senator Nickel concluded.