NC legislators supporting Medicaid expansion hold hearing

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A health policy expert and residents struggling to find affordable insurance are planned speakers for a hearing before North Carolina General Assembly members pressing for passage of Medicaid expansion this year.

Democratic Sen. Paul Lowe is leading a legislative field heading Friday at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem.

The legislature is in the middle of a state budget stalemate, and expansion is a key reason for it. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the Republican budget in large part because it lacked coverage through the 2010 federal health care law. Republicans say Cooper’s Medicaid demand is to blame for final budget delays.

A key speaker Friday will be George Washington University professor Leighton Ku, who wrote recently about the economic and employment benefits of Medicaid expansion in North Carolina.