Having access to quality health care can affect every aspect of a family’s life—how well a child does in school, if a parent can find and keep a job, whether or not economic security is ever within reach.
For more than two years now, the Justice Center’s Health Advocacy Project (formerly the Health Access Coalition) has worked to implement the Affordable Care Act and fought to secure the expansion of Medicaid. In 2014, we educated some 2,500 people about the new options available under health care reform and built a statewide network of consumer advocates.
We also explained to tens of thousands of people—through meetings, events, and social and traditional media—why Medicaid expansion is critical for the well-being of North Carolinians and the state’s entire healthcare system. We helped community partners take action by writing letters to the editor and speaking at press conferences, and we worked with cities and counties across the state to draft and pass resolutions supporting Medicaid expansion. We explained to state legislators how refusing to expand Medicaid strains rural health care and hurts the economy. As we begin 2015, we see that our persistence has paid off, and some state leaders have finally come to understand the wisdom and
importance of Medicaid expansion.
Of course, we didn’t make this progress alone. We worked with strategic coalitions of statewide allies and local groups that have come together to carry the message that expanding health insurance coverage is vital to North Carolina’s future.
The Health Advocacy Project also worked to make health care more accessible and affordable for North Carolina consumers. We participated in a national consortium, organized by Consumers Union, on health care costs, and one of the HAC co-directors serves as a consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. We’re working at the national level to create new model laws ensuring network adequacy—so that when you buy a health plan, you know what doctors and hospitals are included and that it will meet your needs. We continue to fi ght on many fronts to ensure that consumers are protected during this time of constant change in the world of health care.
Annual Reports on Health Access