Despite pressure from both
The state budget is stalled out over Medicaid expansion. It's been a week since
Unlike the federal government, the budget impasse won't lead to a shutdown. But the pressure is still on to pass the budget so state employees can get raises and projects can move forward.
Both were on the calendar for Monday night's House session, but House Speaker
Meanwhile, a bill allowing the state to keep accepting federal funding in the form of block grants moved forward in a
Berger said that when he last spoke with Cooper "it was clear that there was nothing that could be done as far as budget negotiations moving forward unless there was an agreement that Medicaid expansion was either part of the budget, or passed in advance of the budget."
It had bipartisan support in the House committee, but critics, too. House Bill 655, called NC Health Care for Working Families, awaits House approval, along with 12 proposed amendments. So does taking a vote on overriding Cooper's budget veto.
While the House has a Republican majority,
House Democratic Leader
Berger said Tuesday what the speaker is doing is consistent with House rules.
"It's been that way for a long time," Berger said. "Some folks might complain about it but it's not anything new."
Budget vote pressure
Brown called it a "Medicaid-or-nothing ultimatum."
"The budget that the Governor vetoed over his Medicaid-or-nothing ultimatum would have rectified years of inequitable treatment for state employees and provided much-needed research and capital funds for the UNC system," Brown said in a statement on Monday, going on to list other budget items, including raises for prison system employees and university capital improvements.
Medicaid compromise bill
When the House bill was discussed in committee last week, Rep.
Lambeth said it would serve 300,000 North Carolinians who currently have no health insurance, and up to 500,000 total if everyone eligible uses it. The work requirement is a key difference between this and Cooper's Medicaid expansion. Participants' costs would be 2% of their household income, billed monthly. It would cover those residents who meet all federal Medicaid citizenship and immigration requirements and are not eligible for Medicaid under the current program.
Other requirements include: their modified adjusted gross income is not higher than 133% of the federal poverty level; they are not entitled to or enrolled in Medicare Part A or B; and they are between the ages of 19 and 64.
Cooper's Medicaid expansion does not include work requirements or premiums. Cooper has been holding Medicaid expansion roundtables with those who would benefit from full Medicaid expansion.
Meanwhile, North Carolinians who use Medicaid in 27 counties can start enrolling in the transition from fee-for-service to managed care. The change comes to the
Open enrollment continues through
For information, visit ncmedicaidplans.gov.
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