WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Governor Roy Cooper stopped by Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport today for a round table discussion on one of his core platforms: Medicaid expansion.
The discussion comes less than a week since Cooper vetoed a state budget deal proposed by Republicans because it did not include Medicaid expansion. The GOP has viewed the inclusion of medicaid at all as a deal breaker, complicating further negotiations.
Gov. Cooper discussed a variety of reforms toward issues that he believes are being ignored. One such issue is a state-wide problem in the rising demand of nurses not being met due to the high costs of medical school. He proposed a large unemployment fund that employers would pay that would provide scholarships for high demand jobs like nursing.
Gov. Cooper also expressed a major concern toward those working North Carolinians who may not have coverage through their employer but do not receive federal subsidies from the Affordable Care Act. Cooper says that the time to act is now, explaining that "this has created a donut hole and we have the opportunity to draw down federal funds to ensure that five to six hundred thousand North Carolinians and provide them with health insurance that they need. This will help our rural hospitals significantly.”
Gov. Cooper will be back in Raleigh next week to continue negotiations with Republicans on the state budget.