INVESTING IN NORTH CAROLINA’S FAMILIES & FUTURE
NC Families First believe in making North Carolina the greatest state in the nation to live, work and raise a family. Our state had so much going for it that for decades thousands of new
families moved to North Carolina every year. Unfortunately, North Carolina’s family-friendly reputation has taken a hit as state lawmakers have prioritized corporate tax cuts over investments in education, health care, the environment and an economy that works for every family.
Today, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens every family and requires our elected leaders to step up to the challenge. Our failure to expand health coverage to every North Carolinian and cuts to unemployment benefits, among other decisions, are negatively impacting our state at the worst time. State lawmakers have a chance to act, but if they don’t the voters will ultimately decide how North Carolina responds to one of our greatest challenges in modern history.
Expanding Medicaid would provide health coverage for more than 500,000 North Carolinians. For the hundreds of thousands that don’t have insurance and their families, health care is a looming threat. Nobody should have to fear going to the doctor for worrying that they might go bankrupt. That’s a real danger when COVID-19 treatment can cost up to $20,000. For all those who are lucky enough to have insurance, our premiums, deductibles and prescription drug costs are rising precisely because the legislature has failed to expand Medicaid. North Carolina ranks 50 th in the nation in health care costs!
North Carolina’s failure to expand Medicaid has also forced seven rural hospitals across the state to close and left dozens more teetering on the brink. Too many North Carolinians are at risk of losing their local hospital.
In the middle of a pandemic, North Carolina lawmakers should expand Medicaid and cover everyone to provide testing and treatment for the coronavirus. To stop the spread of the virus and to protect everyone’s health we must cover everyone.
The pandemic has magnified the inequalities in our economy. The workers who often make the least are either the most exposed to the virus or work in jobs most likely to be laid off. Small businesses continue to struggle to stay open and retain employees, while corporations get bailouts and the stock market remains high. More than a million North Carolinians have filed for unemployment benefits. Will state lawmakers attempt to help?
First, we need to stop the spread of the coronavirus so that we can get people back to work quickly and safely. Then we must rebuild an economy so that it works for everyone, not just those at the top.
North Carolina should increase unemployment benefits for worker who have lost their jobs. We need help small business retain their employees. We need paid sick and family leave to let workers take time to address their health and safety when they or a family member gets sick. And we need to expand Medicaid to cover everyone, return billions of taxpayer dollars to North Carolina and create thousands of new health care jobs.
When parents think about where the best place is to raise their family, schools are always at the top of the list. North Carolina must recommit to public education from Pre-K to K-12 to post-secondary education. State lawmakers have prioritized more than billion dollars in corporate tax cuts, rather than invest in public schools.
We support raising teacher pay to at least the national average, giving teachers the classroom supplies and technology they need, finding solutions to the historic inequity between rich and poor schools and school districts and in the midst of a pandemic, making sure schools have what they need to for a safe school year.
Whether it’s the mountains, coast, parks, cultural amenities, clean water, clean air, access to fresh foods and good health care options, North Carolina must invest in our quality of life. Unfortunately, many politicians favor protecting polluter, like big oil and gas companies, that threaten our water supply.
Fracking, coal ash, hog waste, offshore drilling and GenX threaten to contaminate our drinking water, lakes, rivers and coastal waters. We support holding polluters accountable, including the expedient cleanup of coal ash waste that is paid for by the polluters, not ratepayers.
For more information, please contact NC Families First at: