RALEIGH –Medicare contributes $19.5 million to North Carolina’s economy, equivalent to 21% of state and local government spending in the state, according to a new report from AARP. Medicare also covers 1,788,687 beneficiaries in the state. Older Americans have said Medicare is one of their top issues in the 2018 mid-term elections, and AARP North Carolina is working to encourage voter participation this election season.
“Medicare is a major economic engine in our state’s economy, as well as a key part of providing health security to North Carloinians,” said AARP North Carolina President Dr. Catherine Sevier. “Older Tar Heels have said Medicare is one of their top issues in this election, yet too many politicians fail to recognize the contributions Medicare makes to the economy and our residents. Any candidate who fails to talk about how they would strengthen Medicare for future generations does so at their peril.”
A breakdown of some of Medicare’s spending in North Carolina is below:
- $8.4 billion for hospitals
- $4.6 billion for doctors
- $687 million health professionals
- $3.1 billion for prescriptions and medical supplies
- $331 million for medical equipment
Also, businesses in North Carolina receiving Medicare dollars use them to pay employees’ salaries, rent, state and local taxes, and buy equipment, and make capital improvements to their facilities.
Recently, AARP worked to help close the Medicare Part D doughnut hole a year early – a victory for older Americans that the pharmaceutical industry is working to undo. AARP has also long opposed efforts that would reduce benefits or shift costs onto consumers by turning Medicare into a voucher program. Such a move would dramatically increase people’s health care costs, and expose current and future retirees to greater financial risk.
AARP’s “Be The Difference. Vote” campaign includes a one-stop online portal – aarp.org/vote – to provide people with the information they need about this year’s elections.