Cooper loses latest round in Medicaid expansion case

Posted January 27

Gov. Roy Cooper

— A federal court dealt a setback Friday to Gov. Roy Cooper's long-shot bid to expand Medicaid in North Carolina.

U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan said she would neither dismiss nor hurry a case brought by Republican legislative leaders seeking to derail the Democrat's efforts. The upshot is that Cooper will likely not be able to extend Medicaid coverage to more people anytime soon, despite touting expansion as a key promise on the campaign trail.

US Supreme Court High-profile lawsuits keep NC in court Medicaid is the state health insurance program for the poor and disabled. Cooper had wanted to broaden the reach of North Carolina's program by expanding it as allowed under the Affordable Care Act, what some people call "Obamacare."

But at least two laws passed by GOP lawmakers over the past few years block the governor from expanding Medicaid without legislative approval. Cooper said he should be able to go ahead by himself anyway because of how the federal law was written.

Initially, Cooper had the support of the federal government during the closing days of President Barack Obama's administration. But now that Republican President Donald Trump has been sworn into office, the federal government is more friendly the stance taken by legislative Republicans led by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore.

Trump has said that he wants to dismantle the ACA and replace it, plunging the long-term prospects for any Medicaid expansion effort into doubt.

"But for some reason he (Cooper) is still beating a dead horse and pursuing Obamacare expansion in open defiance of the law," Berger, R-Rockingham, wrote Friday, distributing his reaction to the ruling via Facebook.

He urged supporters to "tell Cooper he should abandon this expensive and hollow political stunt that blatantly disrespects not just the law but also the taxpayers who are on the hook for paying for it."

"“Expanding health care is the right thing to do for North Carolina’s economy and people and it’s unfortunate that legislative leaders are playing politics and letting tax dollars already paid by North Carolinians go to other states," said Cooper spokesman Ford Porter.


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  • Darwin Rhoads Feb 3, 2017
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    You might have already done this, so excuse me if I missed it. I have not been on this site in a while, due to the Liberal leaning of this station, stopped watching when you switched to NBC.
    Are we going to have a report card for Cooper, like you had for McCroy

  • Ed Ray Feb 1, 2017
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    Yes for tax payer we have been saved thank you. You seem to forget that any money we get for medicaid has to be paid back to the Fed and that will mean for taxes taken from them people of NC.

  • Ed Ray Feb 1, 2017
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    View quoted thread

    I think you are getting Medicare and Medicaid confused with each other. You should look into it before commenting. Medicare is what is taken from your check and taxes pay for.

  • Dolly Butler Jan 30, 2017
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    I agree with you Mick Voiland. I just don't 'get it' why the very people who would benefit from progressive ideas for North Carolina government ...expansion of Medicaid and more $ for teachers, schools are the people who cast their votes for people like Berger ...How about wind and other green energy to help our rural areas? Do we have to wait for the younger generation coming up to change things for rural NC?

  • Paige Hall Jan 30, 2017
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    I am in full agreement with the governor an his comments over the issues of medicaid expansion in our state.an the only reason for the failure of the passage is due to more of this current legistures failure an due to the continuing obstructism to the current governor over political reason that they want the current governor to be a failure just as their wonderful mccorkier was as he was continiously screwing over the states taxpayers with give aways an incentive packages to republicans business croines an supporters an a complete failure as governor of this state he allowed for their to be unjustified monthly estimate to highway contractors for bad non-specification work an contractors do not desever to be treated as customers for they are mearly contractors that have been hired to perform a service too the states taxpaying citizens but instead all they have done is to ripe off the states taxpaying citizens under the wonderful mccorkier adminstration with false claims payme

  • Jeffrey Derry Jan 28, 2017
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    no to Medicaid expansion...no to more govt, no to more taxes

  • Mike Voiland Jan 28, 2017
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    Berger is a partisan dunce. He himself has put NC taxpayers "on the hook" -- he's making them pay to get NOTHING. GOP's failure to expand Medicaid has meant state residents have been paying for Medicaid coverage (via their pay checks)for the last 5 years or so, but the state of NC and some 400,000 of its citizens have not received that coverage. Meanwhile, taxpayers in other states where Medicaid has expanded have gotten something for their money. Berger continues to be the state's most detested NC politician for a reason. Do I have a poll that says that? Nope. But go ahead and run one. Wagering that Berger wins that dubious distinction in a landslide.