Gov. McCrory, opponents look back on his first year - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Gov. McCrory, opponents look back on his first year

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Gov. Pat McCrory released a YouTube video on Wednesday, looking back at his first year accomplishments. Gov. Pat McCrory released a YouTube video on Wednesday, looking back at his first year accomplishments.
DURHAM, N.C. -

Governor Pat McCrory is taking a look back at his first year in office.  In a YouTube video posted on Wednesday, the Governor touted new jobs, education and tax reform as some of his key accomplishments.  The unemployment rate has fallen more than a point in the last year and now sits at eight percent.

"This Christmas season, 80,000 more North Carolinians are collecting a paycheck, and speaking of paychecks, North Carolinians will keep more of their hard earned money thanks to historic tax reform," Gov. McCrory said.

McCrory says more reform is needed in the new year.

"Next year, we'll build on the progress we made this year in revitalizing our economy, streamlining government, improving our children's education, and rebuilding our transportation infrastructure," he said.

That rosy assessment was not shared by some folks meeting in Durham on Wednesday night.  The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP and the left-leaning NC Justice Center hosted a forum on Medicaid expansion in Durham.  Policy experts, Democratic state leaders and doctors answered questions about the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The group is also urging Governor McCrory to call a special session of the legislature to extend unemployment benefits to long-term jobless and to expand Medicaid for working poor people.  Medicaid expansion is a part of Obamacare the U.S. Supreme Court decided should be left up to the states.

People attending Wednesday's forum said Republicans' decision to reject expansion is only doing economic harm, as the state is refusing to accept federal dollars allocated for the expansion, while hospitals continue to bare the cost of hundreds of thousands of uninsured poor people who flock to emergency rooms for care.

"These people, even without insurance, they still get sick," Doctor Charles Van Der Horst said.  "They still get diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, cancer, and they still show up at our emergency rooms."

Under Obamacare, the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost of expansion for the first three years, starting next month.  By 2020, the federal government would continue to pay 90 percent of the cost.

The Governor's office maintains that with skyrocketing costs, the state's Medicaid system is broken and they need to find a way to lower costs before implementing a massive expansion.

In response to the NAACP's Medicaid forum, a governor's spokesperson told WNCN on Wednesday night,

"Another day, another opportunity to protest for the extreme, far left NAACP and 'Moral Monday' crowd. It's starting to feel like the movie Groundhog Day, so we will repeat this for the 3rd or 4th time in the past few weeks - no we will not hold a special session, and no we will not expand Medicaid under Obamacare. Hosting another protest to expand Obamacare does nothing for struggling North Carolinians, but coming together and working to fix the broken system will, which is exactly what Governor McCrory and his team are doing."

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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