CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The press conference at Gaffney Medical Services Thursday afternoon started off with political speeches and plenty of ‘Yes We Can.’
But it was Leslie Boyd who stole the show on the Supreme Court’s ruling on health care.
Choking back tears, Boyd showed a picture of her 33-year-old son, who never lived to see and celebrate 34.
“And he couldn’t get the colonoscopy he needed to diagnose that cancer, because he had a pre-existing condition” Boyd said. “More than anything else in the world, I would like to hug my son today, but I can’t.”
Boyd’s son Michael was born with a bladder defect. It was a tough fight to live, and an even tougher fight to try to get insurance because Boyd says his birth defect was deemed “pre-existing.”
By the time Michael qualified for low income programs, the cancer had spread and on April 1, 2008, he passed away.
Boyd took her grief and formed a group dedicated to helping people getting accurate information about health care.
When the ruling from the Supreme Court came down Thursday morning, Boyd said she could feel her son’s presence and said out loud, “Yeah, today is a good day. We won.”
Dr. Mary Gaffney, who owns the medical group that supplied the venue for the press conference, said there is an “opportunity” for North Carolina to shine.
According to the Supreme Court’s ruling, the state’s will decide for themselves if they want to expand their Medicaid rolls to see that more people have access to healthcare benefits. In North Carolina, the state would need to spend roughly $830 million to insure the 560,000 people living here without health insurance.