Legislators who led on Medicaid expansion

NC Child thanks the members who never stopped fighting for Medicaid expansion

By: Tiffany Gladney | June 2023

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Medicaid expansion is a monumental achievement, and it wouldn’t have happened in this state without the hard work and dedication of a bipartisan group of legislators and their staffs at the North Carolina General Assembly. NC Child recognized four of those legislators last week at an awards celebration. Two Republicans and two Democrats. Two from the House and two from the Senate. Together, their passion, their commitment, and their leadership turned Medicaid expansion into law.  

Representative Carla Cunningham, from District 106, is a mother, grandmother, nurse, and legislator with more than 10 years of experience. She was a fierce advocate for Medicaid expansion. As Vice Chair of the House Health Committee and a member of the Child Fatality Task Force, Rep. Cunningham never stopped making the case as to why our state needed expansion. She is a courageous and bold leader who faithfully and honestly speaks truth to power. 

One of my first memories of Representative Donny Lambeth is him telling me about his love for family and how privileged he feels to be a grandfather. A former hospital executive and true servant of his community, Lambeth represents my home county in District 75. He was relentless in his pursuit of increasing access to affordable, quality healthcare across the state. Over the years he sponsored various bills to expand Medicaid, and through it all, he remained undeterred. He knew North Carolina needed Medicaid expansion, and he helped pave the way.  

Senator Kevin Corbin saw the need through his work as an insurance agent. He often talked about the sobering experience in having to turn down single mothers who came into his office seeking coverage but made too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford private insurance. This was a deficit Senator Corbin was determined to address. During his time in the House and now in the Senate, he never stopped lifting up this critical need in our state.  

Senator Sydney Batch represents District 17. As a family law attorney, she’s been fighting for the needs of children and families her whole career. She has served in both the House and Senate and has been uncompromising in her efforts to make North Carolina better, including through the push for Medicaid expansion.  

Medicaid expansion is now the law in North Carolina. It will take effect once we have a final budget that passes. As we wait for that moment, we wanted to express our gratitude to these four legislators and to their colleagues, their staff members, the advocates, and the citizens who got us across the finish line. Hundreds of thousands of children in North Carolina will grow up to lead healthier lives because of this legislation, and that’s why we do this work.