At the behest of Mayor Nancy Vaughan, the Greensboro City Council will consider a resolution encouraging the state to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage at its meeting tonight.
“I asked for it to be put on the agenda because I think it’s important,” Vaughan said. “First of all, its been estimated that there are at least 500,000 people in North Carolina that could’ve been covered if the state accepted funds to expand Medicaid.”
Vaughan said that according to the state Division of Medical Assistance, 36,700 people in Guilford County could’ve been covered with the funds.
“I think you can assume that at least half are in the city of Greensboro so I do see it as a local issue,” she said.
The League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad and “Greensboro community leaders” will hold a press conference immediately preceding tonight’s meeting to support the resolution, according to a press release from the North Carolina Justice Center.
Winston-Salem City Council recently passed a similar resolution.
A group of people — including city council members, healthcare administrators, and community and religious leaders — has been meeting regularly since HealthServe closed, Vaughan said. During those conversations, Medicaid came up, leading her to bring the issue before council.
Vaughan said she expects the item to pass or it wouldn’t be on council’s agenda yet. Like Winston-Salem, some council and community members have previously argued that items that aren’t immediately under council’s purview are a distraction or waste of time. Vaughan argued that it is relevant given the local impact but said she welcomes the conversation.
“We had a good healthy debate on Amendment One and Citizens United, so I expect healthy discussion on this, too,” she said.
Greensboro City Council is also expected to support the creation of an electric vehicle charging station downtown tonight. The solar-powered charging station would be installed in the city-owned lot near M’Couls and the Carolina Theatre between Elm and Greene Streets, according to a memo from Business and Parking Manager Stephen Carter. The memo says the charging station won’t cost the city anything and suggests a lease of $1 a year with Brightfield Transportation Solutions. The item is on the consent agenda.