Hoke County and Scotland County Rep. Garland Pierce, a Democrat from Wagram, signed on as a co-sponsor to a bill to expand Medicaid in North Carolina.
Under the proposed State House Bill 1040, an estimated 4,169 people in Hoke County would gain access to healthcare. The bill would provide medical care for more than 500,000 North Carolinians across the state, Pierce’s office said in a statement.
“I am proud to co-sponsor HB 1040 which would expand Medicaid and increase health care coverage for working families across Hoke County,” Pierce said. “The COVID-19 crisis shows us how important health care coverage is. When people delay care, it is bad for their personal health but also for the overall community.”
The expansion could also mean lower costs and premiums because of lower levels of expensive, un-reimbursed emergency department care, Pierce said.
“Medicaid expansion would not only help North Carolinians with their health care, but it would also create jobs and boost pay checks as we recover from COVID-19,” the representative said.
In Hoke, the bill could create 78 jobs, create $11.1 million in new business activity and create $519,000 in new county revenue, according to the proposal.
The proposal would be 90 percent paid for by federal funds, and the rest funded by cost sharing with insurance companies and providers. It would not require new taxes.
“Medicaid expansion should have happened years ago. If it had, we would be in better shape today to deal with COVID-19. It is time for us to join 38 other states in this common-sense step,” Pierce said in a press statement.