North Carolina lawmakers nearing final Medicaid expansion OK

Mar 22, 2023, 12:18 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An agreement to expand Medicaid in North Carolina neared final legislative approval Wednesday as the House agreed to a bipartisan plan to ease or eliminate regulations that block the opening of new hospital beds or operating expensive equipment.

Republican lawmakers had been skeptical for nearly a decade about accepting expansion, which originated from the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act.

But the House voted 94-22 for announced three weeks ago, that would direct state health officials to accept Medicaid coverage for potentially 600,000 low-income adults.

Legislators also were convinced by an estimated extra $1.75 billion in cash over two years that Congress approved in a COVID-19 recovery law if North Carolina joined now.

One more affirmative House vote is needed Thursday before it goes to the desk of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, a longtime expansion advocate, for his likely signature. The Senate passed the final legislation by overwhelming margins last week.

North Carolina, one of 11 states that haven’t yet adopted expansion, currently has 2.9 million enrollees in traditional Medicaid coverage.

“Today marks an important day for so many North Carolina citizens,” said Rep. Donny Lambeth, a Forsyth County Republican, during Wednesday’s floor debate. “This has been a long bumpy, journey, but we’re here to make history and move North Carolina forward.”

Cooper doesn’t care for the North Carolina expansion bill language that says expansion can’t be enacted until a separate state budget law is approved in the months ahead. Republicans argue that it makes sense for the state to accept expansion at the same time they adjust the state’s conventional Medicaid program.

The state’s 10% share of expenses for Medicaid expansion recipients would be paid through hospital assessments. Hospitals also are expected to receive larger reimbursements for treating Medicaid patients through a federal program the state is requested to enter in the legislation.

The legislation also would scale back “certificate of need” rules that have required state health officials, for example, to sign off before hospital beds for mental health patients are opened or MRI machines are purchased. Senate Republicans insisted on such changes as part of any expansion deal — a requirement that meant talks idled in 2022. Negotiations resumed earlier this year.

Cooper and many lawmakers want to spend much of the additional $1.75 billion on mental health services.

United States News

Associated Press

Owners of a Colorado funeral home where 190 decaying bodies were found are charged with COVID fraud

DENVER (AP) — The couple who owned a Colorado funeral home — where 190 decaying bodies were discovered last year — have been indicted on federal charges for fraudulently obtaining nearly $900,000 in pandemic relief funds from the U.S. government, according to court documents unsealed Monday. The new federal charges against Jon and Carie Hallford […]

22 minutes ago

Associated Press

Union settles extended strike with Pittsburgh newspaper, while journalists, other unions remain out

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The union that represents a Pittsburgh newspaper’s truck drivers, one of five unions that have been on strike for 18 months, has approved a new contract with the paper’s owners. Four other unions, including one representing the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s journalists and other newsroom employees, have not settled. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said the […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators block traffic into Chicago airport, causing headaches for travelers

CHICAGO (AP) — Pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked a freeway leading to three Chicago O’Hare International Airport terminals Monday morning, temporarily stopping vehicle traffic into one of the nation’s busiest airports and causing headaches for travelers. Protesters linked arms and blocked lanes of Interstate 190 around 7 a.m., a demonstration they said was part of a global […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

AP Source: General Motors and Bedrock real estate plan to redevelop GM Detroit headquarters towers

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors and real estate firm Bedrock will jointly study how to redevelop the automaker’s huge headquarters tower complex in downtown Detroit, a person briefed on the plans said. GM CEO Mary Barra and and Bedrock Chairman Dan Gilbert plan to hold a news conference Monday afternoon to discuss the deal involving […]

3 hours ago

Former President Donald Trump waves as he arrives at Manhattan criminal court with his legal team o...

Associated Press

Potential jurors called into courtroom for start of Trump’s historic hush money trial

Donald Trump arrived Monday at a New York court for the start of jury selection in his hush money trial, marking a singular moment in U.S. history.

3 hours ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

Sponsored Articles



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

North Carolina lawmakers nearing final Medicaid expansion OK