Article: Principles and Medicaid Expansion

Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D

Expanding Medicaid, which I believe will be a disaster for North Carolina (see prior article on this topic in a recent issue of County Compass and here) is on the agenda of the new General Assembly scheduled to begin their session later this month. Our elected representatives should be expected to reflect our values and principles when deciding how to vote on various issues addressed by the General Assembly. If they do not do so, they should be voted out of office. Seems pretty clear to me.

However, sometimes issues arise on which we as constituents have not expressed our views and therefore our position on those issues might not be known to our elected representatives. What should our elected representatives do under those circumstances? The ideal thing would be for us to be apprised of the nature of the issue and our opinion solicited by our representatives. Some of our representatives are very effective in communicating with their constituents through social media, emails, or town hall meetings. Congressman Greg Murphy for example, does a great job with his email based newsletters. Use of issue surveys conducted by party officials can also be of great assistance in determining constituent opinions.

There are some issues before the General Assembly that are seemingly complex and have various interested persons arguing for or against. Take expanding the number of people eligible for Medicaid (estimated to add 600,000 or more) in North Carolina for example. Advocates for expansion point to several economic reasons essentially about hospitals/ medical providers’ financial difficulties with the current system and available access to federal tax money. Those opposing Medicaid expansion frequently cite more dependence on the government, disincentive to work, Medicaid is already a failed program, problems in other states, and burdening taxpayers to pay for other healthy, working age individuals, etc. How is an elected representative to sort through all this and make the right decision?

The answer is actually very easy: Go back to conservative principles and what is best for the country! The biggest threat to our country at this time in its history is the Democrats push towards socialism. A person would have to be blind not to recognize that fact. The question then becomes does adding close to one million people in North Carolina to a government program move this country more towards destructive socialism? The leftist Democrat party and Governor Cooper have been advocating the expansion of Medicaid for years. Until recently, the Republican party has fought against it. Now, all of a sudden many Republicans are supporting Medicaid expansion or are considering doing so. Where are their conservative principles? Do they actually have any? Destroying this country for some economic reason is not acceptable. Fortunately, we do have at least a couple or reliable conservatives such as Representative Keith Kidwell and Senator Norm Sanderson who have stated their opposition to the expansion of Medicaid. Other representatives would do well to follow their example.