McCrory plans to talk health care in DC visit

Posted January 5, 2015
Updated January 6, 2015

Gov. Pat McCrory speaks at a Jan. 5, 2015, economic forecast event.

— Gov. Pat McCrory says he's going to ask federal policy makers to allow North Carolina to chart its own course on health care rather than be closely tied to its existing Medicaid program.

"I am encouraging our congressional leadership and the president, whom I'll be meeting with (Tuesday), to be allowed to devise a North Carolina solution to health care for our families and our employers instated of a regulated Washington program that increases costs without improving care," McCrory said during a speech to business leaders at the Economic Forecast Forum sponsored by the North Carolina Bankers Association and the North Carolina Chamber. 

McCrory said he will be meeting with President Barack Obama as part of activities associated with his role in the National Governor's Association. Vice President Joe Biden and cabinet officials are scheduled to be part of that meeting as well. 

After his prepared remarks, McCrory spoke to reporters and expanded on his health care comment. To make the changes he wants, he said he needs to win over both North Carolina's legislature and Congress.

"The first thing I need in North Carolina is the North Carolina legislature to pass our ACO Medicaid reform bill," McCrory said. 

Lawmakers and the Governor's Office have been grappling for much of the past two years with Medicaid, the state's health insurance program for the poor and disabled. McCrory has pushed for a reform effort that would allow state hospitals and medical providers to create accountable care organizations, or ACOs, to manage patient care. That approach won adherents in the state House, but most state senators seem to favor an approach that would involve large managed care companies and insurers.

That disagreement left the General Assembly deadlocked last summer and appears poised to take center stage again this year, with House and Senate leaders still divided along familiar fault lines. 

McCrory said he will call on lawmakers to once again take up the accountable care organization plan this year during his State of the State address.

Even if McCrory gets what he wants from state lawmakers, those plans would have to be approved by federal regulators. Although he wasn't specific, McCrory pointed to this oversight from the federal government as a hindrance in not only reforming North Carolina's Medicaid system but taking on expansion.

As part of the federal Affordable Care Act, what some people call "Obamacare," states were encouraged to expand Medicaid to those earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line. North Carolina has opted not to take that route, with lawmakers and the governor alike saying they can't be assured that the federal government will continue to subsidize the expansion after the initial 10-year period. 

McCrory said that, in addition to assurances on continued federal funding, he would want the federal government to grant North Carolina more flexibility in administering Medicaid before he pushed for expansion.

"The current lack of waivers on how the states can develop their own programs make that choice unattainable at this point in time," he said.


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  • nobodyknow420 Jan 7, 2015

    ....he didn't expand medicare/medicaid...he doesn't believe in the ACA, and he's poisoning our water. Sure, let's let him talk about health care

  • heelhawk Jan 6, 2015

    View quoted thread

    While I agree that it is political rhetoric, I have to keep you honest on your facts. BCBS has a good many plans on the ACA exchange, but so do two other companies. 90% is a bit of an overstatement. That being said, I agree with what I believe to be your point, which is that we need more options to make the marketplace competitive.

  • Chris Perdue Jan 6, 2015
    user avatar

    So with medicaid expansion, the asset based determination goes away. So someone with limited income, but has 100K in a bank CD drawing minimal interest should be eligible for medicaid? That's how it is working in other states. Makes no difference what your worth is, it is based on yearly taxable income. Not a very good plan to allow wealthy people with no income to get free healthcare if they choose to go that route. Also if you are a healthy 25 year old with no kids, and you do not work and have no intention of working, I don't think you should be entitled to free healthcare

  • Uragoner Too Jan 6, 2015
    user avatar

    Sounds like more political rhetoric, especially when over 90 percent of the affordable care act options here in NC are from Blue Cross/Blue Shield with basically not competition at all. I don't see that as an oversight by McCrory. Do you ?

  • miseem Jan 6, 2015

    View quoted thread

    You mean we should be able to pay bigger bribes?

  • Larry Lynch Jan 6, 2015
    user avatar

    if gov mc was honest and sincere about health care- he would have been more proactive in the DUKE COAL ASH FIASCO. do I really need to say another thing? nah -- I don't.

  • Carol Smith Jan 6, 2015
    user avatar

    I hope he doesn't embarrass NC.

  • rand321 Jan 6, 2015

    McCory needs more firepower in the corporate recruitment. RDU loses out to the MB head quarters to ATL and CLT loses Toyota to DFW.

    Come on NC and McCory, NC should be able to recruit such high profile companies.

  • lavenderdejectedmoon Jan 6, 2015

    Now McCrory is "open" to expanding Medicaid? He is one of the biggest jokes out there. He should have expanded this in the very beginning.

  • 42_wral_mods_suck_i'm_gone Jan 6, 2015

    McCrory is going to expand Medicaid. He needs to save the NC budget shortfall.

    Are the tea party people paying attention or is Medicaid all fixed now? Where is the tea party outrage? Are Burr and Tillis going to weigh in? Are they going to get the Obamacare replacement passed? After all the GOP owns both houses now?