GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — With Medicaid being a lifeline for so many Americans, expansion was the main topic at the Medicaid Awareness Conference on Thursday.

The non-profit Protect Our Care held a Medicaid Awareness Conference on Zoom with a focus being closing the coverage gap and bringing Medicaid expansion to the 10 states that do not have it, including North Carolina. Congressman Don Davis, along with Hank Johnson, Jr., of Georgia and Steve Cohen of Tennessee, who also serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, spoke in favor of the expansion.

Davis said that Medicaid expansion made nearly 200,000 people eligible for healthcare coverage in Eastern North Carolina alone. He added Medicaid is a decision that needs to be made on a national level.

“Incentivizing non-expansion states to move forward and provide lifesaving healthcare coverage to nearly two million Americans is in need. We must continue exploring, I believe, a federal alternative,” said Davis, who serves District 1.

Congressman Greg Murphy, a Republican, said in a statement that as a physician and former state legislator, he is in favor of Medicaid expansion.

“As a physician and former state legislator, I am supportive of Medicaid expansion,” Murphy said. “It will go a long way toward helping our middle class. Hospitals, especially our rural hospitals, will have stability.

“There are certain requirements that must be met, but it is my hope that participants will use this as a step up to maintain a healthy life.”

Davis reminded attendees that North Carolina House Bill 76 is a victory to those who need Medicaid, but also that it is tied to the state’s budget, which has not been passed yet.