DEMOCRAT LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE MEDICAID EXPANSION
Democrats in the NC legislature introduced their own Medicaid expansion bill Wednesday. House Bill 858 would fund Medicaid expansion, in part, with an assessment on hospitals. It would not include a contribution from participants. Primary sponsors are Reps. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson, John Autry and Beverly Earle, both D-Mecklenburg, and Bobbie Richardson, D-Franklin. The NC Hospital Association has not formally taken a position but says it is reviewing the bill as well as the Republican sponsored Carolina Cares bill. “Hospitals and health systems have, for years, borne most of the financial burden of caring for Medicaid patients through assessments,” NCHA spokeswoman Julie Henry said.. “Our members have signaled our willingness to be part of the conversation about how to move forward once legislative leaders and our governor have agreed on a plan.”
MOORE AND BERGER WITHDRAW INJUNCTION REQUEST IN MEDICAID LAWSUIT
Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland withdrew their request for a preliminary injunction to block Gov. Cooper’s request for Medicaid expansion on Monday. The move is not an indication that the legislative leaders would allow a state plan waiver request to go unchallenged. Rather, they withdrew “because state defendants have not yet submitted a state plan amendment to federal defendants, and because plaintiffs are continuing their efforts to secure a resolution of this matter with federal defendants.” Lawyers for Cooper administration and federal government argued that the courts cannot consider the legality of a waiver request that the Governor has not yet made.
ANALYSIS: CAROLINA CARES WOULD COVER 375,00
The North Carolina Institute of Medicine evaluated Carolina Cares as well as the two other Medicaid expansion proposals. According to the analysis, Carolina Cares would cover about 375,000. SB690, introduced by House Democrats in March would cover 468,000.
NC COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER ASSOCIATION ENDORSES CAROLINA CARES
The North Carolina Community Health Center Association swung their support behind Carolina Cares this week, calling the bill a “common-sense conservative approach to covering the uninsured.” The bill, “empowers patients to access affordable, high quality, and innovative primary and preventive care,” the association’s statement said.