North Carolina Governor Wants to Separate Medicaid Expansion from the State Budget

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina legislators are in a negotiation scenario that mirrors many bipartisan negotiations at the national level surrounding health care. Earlier today, Cooper asked legislators to separate recently-agreed upon Medicaid Expansion from the state’s overall budget.

In an official statement released earlier today, Cooper returned to a partisan tone, and accused Republican state legislators of “ripping health care away from thousands of real people.”

“Making Medicaid Expansion contingent on passing the budget was and is unnecessary, and now the failure of Republican legislators to pass the budget is ripping health care away from thousands of real people and costing our state and our hospitals millions of dollars. Tying it to the budget is tying our hands, and the legislature should decouple the two and start Medicaid Expansion now.”

According to Cooper, a bill authorizing Medicaid Expansion into law March 27, 2023 had a provision he opposed, which authorized in House Bill 76 delayed its start date to adoption of the state budget. As a result, approximately 9,000 residents will lose Medicaid Coverage that they would be able to keep via expansion.

North Carolina’s expansion of legislation has been idle as state lawmakers continue budget negotiations. Once there is a signed 2023-24 state budget, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services will submit a State Plan amendment to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

North Carolina’s Department of Health said that after a budget is enacted, it will determine a proposed go live date.

Matt O'Hern
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