How NC Changed Its Mind on Medicaid Expansion with Kody Kinsley

The Other 80

3d ago • 38 mins

If there’s one thing politicians do little of these days it’s change their minds. But, that’s exactly what North Carolina’s General Assembly did in 2023. Ten years after the ACA was passed, and in a historic bipartisan move, they changed their minds and voted to expand Medicaid. NC Secretary of Health & Human Services Kody Kinsley joined us to talk about what it took to get this done and how it’s been going so far.

We discuss:

  • How to get stuff done in a politically divided state
  • One move that would dramatically increase access to healthy food in America - automatically enroll all Medicaid beneficiaries in SNAP
  • Why NC Medicaid has gone deep on peer to peer support for prenatal care and mental health
  • The importance of building a better narrative about the role and value of public health

Kody points out NC’s strategy of investing in community organizations is creating  both health and economic opportunities:

“75% of our community based organizations are minority or women owned throughout those 33 counties. So, this isn't just about getting good access to what drives health in the long run. This is also about building that infrastructure and having a financing model that sustains it that is in the balance, a good value for the taxpayer.”

Relevant Links

NC enrollment dashboard

Crisis warmline

Healthy Opportunities pilots

“NC Launches Additional Phone Support for People Experiencing Mental Illness or Substance Use Disorfer” [RELEASE]

About Our Guest

Kody Kinsley serves as North Carolina’s Secretary of Health & Human Services, overseeing a department with over 18,000 staff and a $38 billion budget. With experience centered on health policy and operations, Kinsley worked on digital healthcare transformation, national education and labor policies, and served as COO and CFO of the U.S. Treasury.

Secretary Kinsley’s three priorities for the department include: Investing in behavioral health and resilience, improving child and family well-being, and building a strong and inclusive workforce. Under his leadership, North Carolina expanded Medicaid and received the largest investment to bolster the mental health system in over a decade. Kinsley grew up in Wilmington, earning his bachelor’s degree from Brevard College and his master’s in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley.

Source: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/about/leadership/kody-kinsley


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