NAACP Blasts Sen. Apodaca's Bill
Updated: Monday, February 4 2013, 07:48 PM EST
Under the cross at St. Paul AME Zion Church in Hendersonville about three dozen protesters gathered Monday and blasted state Senator Tom Apodaca for co-sponsoring a bill which blocks expansion of medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
"This week the House rushed a bill through committee," said Melinda Lowrance, president of the Henderson County chapter of NAACP. "We want to participate in Obamacare," she said.
But Apodaca's bill, which is scheduled for a vote Tuesday , rejects partnering with the federal government to provide billions in funding to cover health care costs.
"I think the bottom line is they're asking for a fair process," said attendee Nancy Glowacki.
Reached by phone Monday afternoon, Apodaca told News 13's Mario Boone participating in the health exchange would saddle the state with debt. Apodaca also said he wasn't invited to a discussion with the NAACP.
"Well, we thought he (Apodaca) was going to be in Raleigh today," said Lowrance.
Indeed the senator was in Raleigh, but he released a written statement which reads in part, "...to commit state taxpayers to a billion dollar increase in the next few years will take money away from schools, roads and public safety.
Said Lowrance, "take a couple of deep breaths and think about what the effect will be on the community."
The governor hasn't said if he'll sign the bill, which is expected to pass.
By: Mario Boone, firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow on Twitter: @marioboone
Statement from Tom Apodaca:
There has been an ongoing public debate about North Carolina expanding the Medicaid program since Obamacare was passed by Congress in March 2010 and the Supreme Court ruling in June 2012.
Many voices have been heard since that time and each viewpoint considered.
The North Carolina Senate believes it isn’t fiscally responsible to enlarge the Medicaid program at this time for three reasons.
First, the promised federal match may not come through because both parties agree that there will be deep budget cuts in Washington over the coming years.
Second, a state audit released last week proved that the state’s Medicaid program is not managed well and consistently exceeds estimates.
Finally, to commit state taxpayers to a billion dollar increase in the next few years will take away needed funds for schools, roads, and public safety.
Access to affordable and high-quality health care is important and that’s why I support making more community health clinics available to those in need.
I always appreciate hearing from my constituents on these issues.