GOP BRAGGING RINGS HOLLOW WITHOUT MEDICAID EXPANSION: “Republicans will continue to champion policies that strengthen our economy, support quality education, and provide for public safety and order,” Berger pledged. Nowhere in his 600-word litany of partisan Democratic Party bashing and Republican Party chest thumping is the word "health" mentioned. Berger and his allies have repeatedly found ways to block, delay and politically entangle Medicaid expansion. About 600,000 North Carolinians – equal to nearly a third of all the votes Republican state Senate candidates received – have since 2013 been denied by state law from access to affordable health care. Yes, not only has Berger and his allies failed to vote FOR expanding Medicaid, they actually passed a law (Senate Bill 4) in 2013 prohibiting it – with only Republican votes in the Senate and a single Democrat (who later switched affiliation to the Republican Party) in the House. The costs have been staggering – as many as 14,700 lives -- of those unable to get the care they needed -- have been lost; 230,000 diabetics have not been able to get the life-sustaining medications they require; 107,500 mammograms missed. And, particularly for politicians who brag of frugality and job growth, the state has missed out on $17.44 billion in federal funds. That is money North Carolina taxpayers already send to Washington that’s paying more than 90% of the Medicaid expansion costs in 39 other states and Washington, DC. Berger is a one-trick pony (tax cuts), who won his race because he was the only horse on the racetrack. But it's not just his fault, there are (going to be) 29 other GOP Senators, and the pressure needs to be on them to force his hand on Medicaid expansion.