RALEIGH (March 27, 2023) – The North Carolina Justice Center applauds Governor Roy Cooper for signing House Bill 76 into law today, and we thank Senate Leader Phil Berger, House Speaker Tim Moore, and both chambers of the N.C. General Assembly for their bipartisan efforts to pass this critical legislation.

This law guarantees that more than 600,000 North Carolinians—including many of our neighbors of color, veterans, people living in rural communities, and people working low-wage jobs—can finally access healthcare through a Medicaid expansion program known as N.C. Health Works. It also represents a significant investment in our state’s economy, bringing $3.2 billion in federal funds and $165 million in local and state tax revenue by 2025.

We also thank all the advocates, community organizers, and coalition partners who have fought tirelessly for expansion in the 13 years since the Affordable Care Act laid the groundwork for North Carolina to expand Medicaid. From mountains to sea, you have demonstrated the power of grassroots advocacy to initiate meaningful change in our state.

As we celebrate the lives that Medicaid expansion will undoubtedly save, we also want to remember the thousands of North Carolinians who have died as a result of our state’s Medicaid coverage gap. Their lives are a sobering reminder of the need for North Carolina policymakers to expand Medicaid now, rather than waiting on the passage of a state budget.

Each day that we delay implementing N.C. Health Works is another day that North Carolinians are forced to cut pills in half or not fill prescriptions, skip recommended medical tests and preventative screenings, or forgo mental health or substance use treatment for fear of crushing medical debt. We urge the N.C. General Assembly—as well as lawmakers in the 10 remaining non-expansion states—to make Medicaid expansion a reality immediately.

As always, the North Carolina Justice Center will continue to fight to ensure that all children, adults, and families in our state have access to the high-quality, affordable healthcare they need to thrive.