In a new story from The Daily Yonder, the CEO of Cherokee Indian Hospital, Casey Cooper, traveled throughout rural North Carolina this summer to urge county commissioners to pass a resolution to expand Medicaid, not only in their communities, but statewide. With more rural counties passing these resolutions, there is hope that the state will eventually expand Medicaid, and thus offer coverage to thousands of state residents who can’t afford an insurance plan on the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

From the story: “North Carolina is one of 12 states that has not expanded Medicaid coverage. The Affordable Care Act originally mandated that states expand their Medicaid coverage, but a 2012 Supreme Court ruling overturned that part of the law, instead making expansion of each state’s Medicaid program an opt-in policy.

In order to qualify for Medicaid coverage in North Carolina today, Casey Cooper explained in an interview, “If you are an adult, you have to be below 42% of the federal poverty level to qualify, and, I mean, that’s horrible. That’s like $7,000 or $7,300 a year.”

“If you’re a mama with two babies — and it’s not uncommon, right, to be a single mom with two babies — you don’t qualify for Marketplace subsidies until you get to $21,000 a year,” Cooper said. “If you make between $9,000 and $21,000 a year, you can’t get coverage.”

At press time, five rural counties in North Carolina have passed resolutions supporting Medicaid expansion.

To read the rest of the story on the Yonder, click here.