Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, you should be outraged by N.C. Senate Bill 4 .
This bill, passed through the N.C. Senate last week , would block the expansion of health care to 650,000 uninsured North Carolinians. If this legislation passes the N.C. House and is signed by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory , it will leave the state poorer and sicker.
As stipulated by Obamacare, the federal government will foot at least 90 percent of the costs to expand Medicaid , the state’s health care program for the poor.
This allowance is so generous that it would save the state an estimated $65 million in expenses over the next eight years, according to the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. It would also create 23,000 new jobs, according to Regional Economic Models, Inc.
Thus, in addition to providing health care for half a million citizens, this giveaway would free up more money for the state to spend on education and create jobs for new graduates.
Such obvious benefits should be cheered by North Carolinians of all political colors.
But the prospect of receiving any benefits from Obamacare was too large a pill for the N.C. Senate Republicans to swallow.
Despite a letter from McCrory’s administration expressing reservations, legislators passed Senate Bill 4, which refuses the federal money and all its associated benefits. It is the legislative version of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
The moral argument for accepting the Medicaid expansion is a no-brainer — it would provide desperately needed health care to North Carolinians living at up to 138 percent the federal poverty level.