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Possible medicaid expansion could cover over 500,000 people statewide

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NORTH CAROLINA - The State General Assembly proposed bill would potentially cover nearly 500,000 more people in the state with Medicaid. The bill is being proposed by Senators Terry Van Duyn, Valeriee Foushee, and Gladys Robinson.

Linda Dunn said her daughter would be one of those people. Dunn said, her daughter suffers from chronic diseases and needs medical help. Dunn's husband and herself have been doing their best to take care of her, but there is only so much they can do to help.

"The reality is we are not going to be here forever and she's gonna need help when we're gone," said Dunn.

This is why she went to the State General Assembly to help push for the newly proposed bill.

Dunn said, "knowing that her medical insurance was provided through Medicaid would be a big relief and taken off our shoulders."

The bill says the Medicaid expansion would allow for an estimated $2.5 billion in federal tax dollars to flow back into the state, and it should have a ripple effect creating thousands of jobs.

State Senate President Pro Tempore, Phil Berger's office released a statement to us. A quote from it said, "costs for North Carolina's existing Medicaid program have increased significantly in recent years. In 2012, the General Assembly was forced to fill a surprise Medicaid shortfall that totaled more than $500 million. Recent figures from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services indicate that an expansion of the program would add hundreds of millions of dollars in additional state costs to North Carolina's Medicaid budget through 2019."

The bill says it would take effect July, 1st if passed.

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