30,000 veterans do not have any healthcare coverage in North Carolina and that is a disgrace. I have been reading a lot lately about medicaid expansion here in North Carolina. We are one of only 17 states that has not expanded medicaid. And there are a lot of issues wrapped up in that topic that will have to wait for another post. Too many North Carolinians go without. But the kick to the gut for me was that we have about 30,000 veterans living in NC that do not have any medical insurance coverage at all. 30,000. Of those, 23,000 will be helped if we would just expand medicaid here in this great state. This is a worthy read if you want to read just a bit more about the statistics. https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article226256920.html
I then asked myself why? I thought the VA covered veterans. Well, searching out that answer lead me to this article: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=4509219&page=1&page=1
To sum it up, there is a huge gap there. In 2003, it seems the Bush Administration put a stop to many VA medical benefits. Middle income veterans and their families were no longer eligible for VA healthcare unless they had a service connected disability.
Any individual veteran with no dependents making over $27,790 a year is not eligible
Any veteran with dependents making over $38,948 a year is not eligible
Some of these veterans make too much for medicaid, too little to be able to afford private insurance, and are too young for medicare.
Those are just the ones that are not eligible for coverage. There are veterans that do not get care even though they may qualify for VA medical benefits. The reasons given for those are:
No facility close by
High cost of co pays for specialty care
Long wait list
This leaves 30,000 with no healthcare coverage in NC alone. According to the ABC article almost 2 million nation wide. STAGGERING NUMBERS
As a veteran myself, this is unacceptable, and expanding medicaid will not cover everyone. But it will certainly help while a better plan for healthcare cost coverage is worked out in this country. NC needs to expand medicaid now!
If this astounds you as it did me, there are things you can do:
1. CALL YOUR LEGISLATOR NOW: https://www.ncleg.gov/RnR/Representation That is the link to find your legislator here in NC you just click on NC House then NC Senate and see who represents you. Just tell whoever answers that you are a voter and need your legislator to support medicaid expansion here in NC. After the call…
2. Sit down and write a letter or post card to those same legislators. Saying the same things. That it is a disgrace that so many go without medical care because of lack of funds. Expand medicaid now. And then…
3. Send a quick e mail with the same message.
Yes, hit them up three ways. This is important, and it needs to happen now!