GREENSBORO, N.C. - We were told the Affordable Care Act was supposed to make health insurance affordable so everyone regardless of their health or income could sign up. That's not what's happening. Some make too little to qualify for government subsidies for health care. That's right. Too little to get help.
You need to see the numbers to believe it. The Kaiser Family Foundation insurance payment calculator shows the difference. Enter that you're a single person making $11,500 a year, you'd only have to pay $230 for a whole year for my coverage. Subsidies would cover the rest.
Put in $100 less in income, $11,400, - healthcare now costs almost three grand - no subsidy.
In North Carolina, The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates almost 320,000 people fall into this insurance gap.
Feds wanted states to cover these people with Medicaid. But North Carolina and 25 other states rejected that plan.
So where are people going? Emergency rooms and clinics - often funded by your tax dollars. So many people are upset and concerned that Greensboro leaders passed a resolution encouraging the state to expand Medicaid. The League of Women Voters pushed for that resolution.
"These people avoid going to the doctors because they don't have insurance," League Piedmont Chapter co-president Margaret Salinger said. "And when they do finally go they often times are admitted as in patients and everyone pays for that. The costs are tremendous."
Governor Pat McCrory sent us this statement in response to Greensboro's resolution: "At this time no, we will not expand Medicaid, but I keep the door open for all options in the future. My goal is to initially fix the existing system and that existing system is not fixed at this point in time. I'm always up to reevaluating decisions in the past and deciding what's best in the future, but right now that's not in the cards."
Just last week the governor's administration released a plan to fix the Medicaid system. They say they want to let doctors and other providers take more control of treatment.