Cooper's big win
Published March 16, 2023
By Gary Pearce
State Senator Phil Berger and Speaker Tim Moore took a beaming star turn before the cameras when they announced their agreement on expanding Medicaid. They pointedly excluded Governor Roy Cooper.
But make no mistake: This is Cooper’s victory.
It is a signal accomplishment of his administration. It means 600,000 North Carolinians will get better health care.
For 10 years, Republicans in the legislature resisted.
“Obamacare,” they hissed.
Cooper ran on Medicaid expansion in 2016 and 2020. He recruited Democratic legislators to the cause. Together, they made it an issue across the state in 2018, 2020 and 2022.
He enlisted business leaders and hospital executives. He hammered on it in speech after speech, interview after interview.
His persistence, persuasiveness and political skills paid off.
Republicans finally came around. State Rep. Donny Lambeth, a retired hospital executive, played a key role.
But it wouldn’t have happened without the Governor’s leadership.
This is why governors matter.