Raleigh, NC – Today, Representatives Deborah Ross (NC-02) and G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) led their Democratic colleagues in the North Carolina delegation in sending a letter to congressional leadership requesting that provisions to close the Medicaid coverage gap remain in the Build Back Better (BBB) legislation as negotiations in Congress continue. Closing the coverage gap will reduce health disparities by lowering costs, expanding access to care for hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians and millions of Americans, and supporting vulnerable hospitals and frontline health care workers.

The letter read in part, “North Carolina is one of 12 states that has not expanded Medicaid. The ensuing coverage gap has left approximately 500,000 people throughout the state without access to affordable, quality health care…Leaving this gap unaddressed also exacerbates existing health disparities in minority communities and hurts some of our most vulnerable populations. This includes rural communities, which are home to roughly 40 percent of those within the coverage gap in North Carolina.

“Medicaid expansion has served as a lifeline for millions of Americans living in the 38 states that have chosen to prioritize the wellbeing of their residents. Congress must provide this same protection for the 2.2 million Americans without coverage by maintaining the Medicaid gap provisions currently outlined in BBB.”

Last year, Congresswoman Ross introduced the Medicaid Saves Lives Act with Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07) to create a federal Medicaid look-alike program for states like North Carolina that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Representatives Kathy Manning (NC-06), Alma Adams (NC-12), and David Price (NC-04) joined the letter. Full text of the letter can be found here.