When journalists write about social issues such as North Carolina’s refusal to expand Medicaid to provide health insurance to about 500,000 residents, it’s easy for that number to seem abstract. Who are these folks who fall into the “Medicaid gap” created by the state’s failure to act? The answer is, they are our neighbors — folks like a single parent working part time in a fast-food restaurant for $7.25 per hour whose income is too high to qualify for Medicaid as it now is configured, but not high enough to enable her to get subsidized coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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