GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – North Carolina House Bill 76, a bill that expands access to healthcare options in our state, passed its final vote on Thursday. Local representatives said it was a good day for North Carolina.

The bill passed by a margin of 92 to 22.

Republican Representative Tim Reeder voted “yes” for expanding healthcare access and said this bill showed how the parties could come together to help North Carolinians.

“This was definitely a bipartisan bill. Folks recognize this is going to be good for the state, the financial impact of this on the state is remarkable,” Reeder said.

Reeder said the bill would especially help those living in rural communities and the hospitals there.

“We take care of a disproportionate number of uninsured patients, and this will really be a lifeline for the health system and physician practices across the eastern part of the state,” Reeder said.

He added the bill could be an economic driver for the state as well, bringing in billions of dollars.

“It’s going to bring billions of dollars into North Carolina. North Carolinians have been paying taxes to the federal government for years and without expanding Medicaid. That money? it’s still been paid for by North Carolinians, it’s just gone to other states,” Reeder said.

Democrat Representative Gloristine Brown also voted “yes” for the bill. She said she was excited about what this bill could mean for North Carolina.

“The people were heard, and they see that now they will be able to get what they need. It means a lot,” Brown said. “All over North Carolina, people are going to be taken care of.”

House Bill 76 would allow more than half a million North Carolinians who did not previously qualify for Medicaid to now be eligible.

“Some that cannot afford it know that now they don’t have to decide whether they’ve got to decide between medication, groceries, and just transportation costs,” Brown said.

ECU Health also weighed in on the bill. In a statement to WNCT, ECU Health officials said:

“ECU Health is grateful for legislators in the House voting in support of Medicaid expansion and Healthcare Access Stabilization Program (HASP) funding. These programs are necessary to help support and sustain rural health care in the state, including eastern North Carolina. While Medicaid expansion and HASP won’t solve all of the unique challenges of rural healthcare delivery, they are vital to helping ECU Health meet its mission to improve the health and well-being of the communities we are proud to serve. More than 600,000 people across the state, including 100,000 people right here in eastern North Carolina, will be positively impacted by Medicaid expansion if fully passed by the General Assembly in the coming weeks.”