Archived Story

Medicaid expansion derailed

Published 10:22am Tuesday, February 19, 2013

RALEIGH – Pending one more stop in the Senate and the signature of Gov. Pat McCrory, it appears that the majority of North Carolina’s General Assembly members believe an expansion of Medicaid under the Federal health care law is not the right direction to take.

On Thursday, the North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill that clarifies that the state will neither expand Medicaid nor pursue a state-based health care exchange under the Federal Affordable Care Act.  Senate Bill 4 won by majority vote within that branch of state government late last week, and passed through the House by a 75-42 margin on Feb. 14.

R-C area House Representatives Annie Mobley of Ahoskie and Michael Wray of Gaston, both Democrats, voted against the bill. Mobley said that Medicaid expansion would cover about 500,000 working families in North Carolina, providing them the insurance coverage required when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented next year. The federal government would pick up the full cost of the expansion for the first three years and 90 percent of the cost for several years after that.

“Expanding Medicaid would have helped working families who are still struggling in this economy,” said Mobley. “I voted against blocking expansion because we shouldn’t let politics stand in the way of expanding health care coverage to 500,000 people, creating 23,000 jobs and preventing the cost of treating the uninsured from being passed on to hard working taxpayers.

“This short-sighted decision to reject Medicaid expansion will hurt our economy and the quality of life for many citizens,” Mobley added.

All 42 of the “nay” votes were cast by Democrats.

On the other side of the issue, Republicans were quick to argue that a recent audit of North Carolina’s Medicaid system showed millions of dollars in mismanagement, the latest in a string of well-documented problems for the system.

“This bill puts the interests of our taxpayers and Medicaid patients first,” said House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg). “It is clear that North Carolina’s Medicaid system is broken.  This bill is rightly focused on repairing Medicaid to better serve our citizens, rather than expanding a broken program.”

The bill also clarifies North Carolina’s choice not to pursue a state-based health insurance exchange.

“The Affordable Care Act has created incredible amounts of uncertainty in our state,” said Rep. Justin Burr (R-Stanly), who co-sponsored the legislation.  “We simply cannot put North Carolina taxpayers on the hook for two costly tenets of a bureaucratically-operated Federal plan.”

The bill underwent technical changes in the House to protect specific information-technology funds in the Medicaid system.

“We worked closely with Gov. McCrory’s office to address concerns about continuing to draw down funds for the NCFAST software,” said Rep. Marilyn Avila (R-Wake), also a co-sponsor.  “We now have a bill that accomplishes everyone’s goals.”

The bill now returns to the Senate for concurrence, then will move to Gov. McCrory for his signature.

  1. 1tomcat

    Your suspicion was RIGHT as I would never divulge any names even yours. By your remarks you seem to be racist to me. I am not a racist but in general speaking was referring to the reason it cost taxpayers so much of our hard earned money to pay for ILLEGITIMATE children that is a burden that could be stopped in a county that is supposed to be so poor. The color of a persons skin has nothing to do with the cost of taxpayers paying for a service that most have never paid a cent into. I believe in helping any person that needs help or cannot help themselves and that does not include KIDS having KIDS. Speaking of tobacco seems like there is a lot of it raised in Hertford County today. They are more modern and still hire a lot of people to raise and harvest it. The share cropper days are nearly a thing of the past but kids having kids is still done the old fashioned way.

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  2. 1tomcat

    This is in responce to THE ONLY ONE. Most times whenever a child is born ILLEGITIMATE then the county ends up paying for all their medical needs whether it is WELFARE/WIC/DSS/MEDICADE/CHILD CARE/FOOD STAMPS and so many other benefits that they have never paid one penny into. They are getting BENEFITS from BIRTH to the GRAVE in many instances. Each child they have they get even more money so have no idea how you think they are not getting paid. If the system is played like some take advantage of it even the parents and grandparents get in on the deal with looking after the child. No wonder Hertford County is said to be one of the POOREST Counties in North Carolina.

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  3. 1tomcat

    Thank God our state is finally coming to their senses and not following the federal govt. medicade expansion with all the reckless spending of our tax dollars. There is so mush waste and fraud in this medicade system now. Sooner or later someone with guts and not politics will do the same with welfare/foods stamps and other free handouts and be accountable to waste. I believe in helping people that cannot help themselves but to pay girls to have babies it so stupid and their parents and grandparents on the pay has to stop some place wake up there is nothing ree in this world someone has to pay and I am getting tired of paying for entitlements you are not entitled to.

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