RALEIGH, N.C. – Today, Mike Morgan, Democrat for Governor, defined his healthcare policy priorities, saying that his top priority will be to strengthen the fragile healthcare delivery system in rural North Carolina.
“It’s imperative that the next Governor work with the General Assembly and the stakeholders to strengthen the rural healthcare delivery system. Our hospitals and our providers struggle to identify and implement health solutions to care models that are financially feasible,” said Mr. Morgan, a retired NC Supreme Court Justice.
“We have too many rural hospitals that are struggling to make ends meet. We have too many rural hospitals curtailing services provided to patients. We even know of hospitals shutting down entirely.” “
“We have too many doctors who can’t afford to run a practice in rural areas of the state. Patients in these communities are turning to their leaders for solutions. And in addition to all of this, we continue to have a crisis with a broken mental healthcare delivery system across our state that needs attention from policymakers, lawmakers, and providers,” added Mr. Morgan.
“One of my solutions is to look at direct support systems to help stabilize the economic situation facing rural hospitals. Let’s work with the NC Hospital/Healthcare Association and the General Assembly to determine what these hospitals need and then find solutions that will serve the needs of these patients and local communities,” said Mr. Morgan.
“While the recent Medicaid Expansion is important in this equation, it’s not the full answer to solve the economic issues for rural hospitals and providers,” commented Mr. Morgan.
Mr. Morgan said other healthcare policy priorities include support for workforce development in the healthcare delivery system. “Our hospitals and providers are facing a true shortage of nurses and healthcare professionals to serve the needs of a growing state. I’ll work with our healthcare providers, hospitals, doctors, nurses, and community colleges to find ways that will attract more students to choose the area of healthcare as a career. Another prospect is to provide free tuition for nursing, pharmacy, and med-tech students. I favor the introduction of a student loan forgiveness program for medical school students who commit to practicing medicine in rural underserved communities for a given period of time,” commented Mr. Morgan.
Finally, Mr. Morgan said he will work with the General Assembly to study a premium support program to help middle-class families reduce the cost of their monthly healthcare insurance premiums and co-payments. “Too many working families make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but they don’t make enough money to pay the high costs of healthcare insurance, even when it is offered by their employers. I think it’s imperative that we find affordable solutions for such people who are working hard, doing all that they can in life and yet can’t get ahead because healthcare insurance is too expensive,” added Mr. Morgan.
“It’s going to be bold and visionary leader to tackle these complex issues. I’ve been successful in addressing our state’s issues for many years and I’ll do so as Governor,” concluded Mr. Morgan.