Source: Charlotte Observer ⇥
RALEIGH Shirley Fulton, a retired Superior Court judge from Charlotte, presided Monday over a mock grand jury hearing designed to shame North Carolina legislators into expanding Medicaid.
Activists assembled in the legislative office building at noon to make arguments for extending government health insurance to impoverished adults who lack access to Medicaid or subsidized private plans.
The Rev. William Barber, president of the N.C. NAACP, said the process is partly to draw attention to the issue and partly to prepare for real legal action. “There is a possibility we’re going to bring a constitutional case,” similar to the longstanding Leandro suit alleging that the state failed its constitutional obligation for public education, he said.
The N.C. Medicaid Expansion Coalition, which had planned four hours of testimony, adjourned early with forecasts calling for dangerous driving conditions. Organizers plan to bring people back in about two weeks to continue sharing personal stories of how citizens and the state’s economy are affected by having hundreds of thousands without access to insurance they can afford.
Fulton will rule on whether to “indict” the General Assembly. Hint: The smart money is on yes.
By Ann Doss Helms
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