N.C. lawmakers dont seem inclined to reconsider their unwise decision not to expand Medicaid. But that doesnt mean we should stop shouting loudly why they should. A new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report last week underscores the value for the Tar Heel state.
The report looked at the Affordable Care Acts impact in 14 large U.S. cities. Charlotte was among the seven cities in states where lawmakers opted not to expand eligibility for Medicaid. Even so, the number of uninsured Charlotte residents is expected to drop by 36 percent, or 63,000, by 2016 because of ACA. That was the highest drop among cities with no Medicaid expansion. Among all states, North Carolina has the fifth-highest ACA federal online sign-up.
The report points out that had North Carolina expanded the states Medicaid program for low-income and disabled residents, the decrease in uninsured in Charlotte would be even greater an estimated 57 percent. That would be an additional 36,000, bringing the number of Charlotte residents gaining insurance to 99,000 by 2016.
Those numbers are nothing to sneeze, even in the states largest city. Even without a Medicaid increase, ACA will bring more health care dollars into Charlotte, including spending for health care-related jobs, researchers say. More jobs would come with Medicaid expansion though. And without that expansion, doctors and hospitals will face reductions in Medicare reimbursement and other federal payments, experts say. Lawmakers who claim to care so much about job creation and being business-friendly might want to ponder that.
North Carolina is missing an opportunity, said Dr. John Lumpkin, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Indeed.
What, no pinstripes?
We were among the thrilled when Charlottes NBA team announced that it was changing its name back to the Hornets. We were slightly less than thrilled when the Hornets unveiled a new logo that looked like a 23rd century cyborg insect instead of, you know, a bug.
But unlike some, we werent terribly disappointed at the new home, away and alternate uniforms the team unveiled this week. The apparent beef, via social media: The unis didnt have the pinstripes that made those original Hornets stand out.
Yes, the pinstripes were memorable, but the new uniforms pay more than adequate homage to the old. They bring back the teal-and-purple color scheme that was groundbreaking at the time for pro uniforms. But they also have a more modern striping and numbering.
Its a blend of modern and retro, of then and now, which we think is about right. These arent the old Hornets, and we arent the old Charlotte. Lets glance back but move ahead.
Besides, pinstripes on teal? Some things are better left in the past.
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