NC Senate Republicans are proposing legislation to expand Medicaid

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – After years of opposition, Republicans in the state Senate are finalizing the details of a bill to expand Medicaid coverage in North Carolina and could table the bill as early as this week.

It’s a move Gov. Roy Cooper (D) asked for before taking office and was a key issue behind a Standoff over the state budget, which has lasted more than two years.

According to a bill obtained by CBS 17, coverage would be expanded to about 600,000 people in the state. North Carolina is among 12 states in the country that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Gov. Cooper has repeatedly urged lawmakers to expand Medicaid, citing the potential economic benefits, greater access to health care for those who are struggling, and the help it could provide to struggling rural hospitals.

He signed a bill late last year that didn’t expand Medicaid but established a Legislative Committee to study the issue closely for the past few months.

“And I think we’re getting closer to a deal than we’ve ever been,” Cooper said at a news conference earlier this month, where he again called on state lawmakers to expand Medicaid during the current legislative session.

The federal government pays 90 percent of the cost for states to expand Medicaid. As part of America’s bailout plan, which Democrats passed in Congress last year, they included a provision temporarily increasing the federal share to 95 percent in order to persuade leaders of non-expansion states like North Carolina to approve Medicaid expansion .

Republicans point out that the state would receive about $1.5 billion over two years to expand Medicaid.

Republicans also include a work requirement with certain exceptions, e.g. B. People with disabilities that prevent them from performing “one or more activities of daily living” and parents with a child under one year old.

The Biden administration opposes Medicaid labor requirements and has withdrawn permits the Trump administration had given states. Federal courts have blocked a job request in Arkansas.

The bill Senate Republicans will table demands for a hospital assessment to pay the state’s share of the cost. The state Department of Health and Human Services must also submit an annual report detailing all revenue in order to pay the state share. If that revenue weren’t enough, people’s reporting would “stop as soon as possible.”

Republicans also included a variety of other changes in the bill that affect access to health care and go beyond expanding Medicaid, including: provisions to handle surprise medical bills and transparency that allows nurses to practice outside of a doctor’s oversight , Needs Confirmation Act Telemedicine reforms and regulations.

Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have opposed expanding Medicaid, so it’s unclear whether the bill would actually pass during the current legislative session.

This is an evolving story and will be updated throughout the day. NC Senate Republicans are proposing legislation to expand Medicaid


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