McCrory talks Medicaid, infrastructure with Obama

Posted January 6, 2015

— Gov. Pat McCrory and four other governors sat down Tuesday with President Barack Obama at the White House to discuss how the federal government could best work with states during the president's final two years in office.

The 45-minute closed-door meeting, which included members of Obama's cabinet, covered subjects from immigration reform to energy exploration to education, but McCrory said his focus was on Medicaid and transportation infrastructure.

"I presented a very strong argument for more flexibility if we even consider Medicaid expansion, so we can have a North Carolina plan instead of a Washington plan, and especially a plan that would encourage more people to get a job or get training before we expand another government program," McCrory said after the meeting.

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.

Even if McCrory gets what he wants from state lawmakers, those plans would have to be approved by federal regulators. He says the federal oversight is a hindrance in not only reforming North Carolina's Medicaid system but taking on any expansion as allowed under the Affordable Care Act.

Obama debated McCrory's position but the governor said he also left the door open for consideration.

"My main message to these governors is going to be let's figure out how to work together," Obama told reporters before the meeting. "That's the same message I'm going to have for Congress."

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, chairman of the National Governors Association, said all of the issues presented during the meeting led to constructive conversations that focused on providing states more flexibility.

"Flexible federalism is sometimes a cliche, but it's a real meaningful policy issue when you're trying to navigate through the bureaucracies of state government and the federal government," Hickenlooper said.


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • bill0 Jan 8, 2015

    View quoted thread

    That's nice, but BCBS doesn't decide whether the state of NC expands medicaid. McCrory has to convince gop leaders in the state legislature to authorize it.

  • teleman60 Jan 8, 2015

    To all the delusionists here - it is being reported widely the NC BCBS CEO calls for Medicaid expansion to cover over 500,000 uninsured NC poor and aid rural hospitals ;

    NC is the next state to expand Medicaid as Texas is already on the path to expansion.

    It's curious why WRAL is late coming to cover breaking news in NC?

  • Matt Wood Jan 7, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Yeah, ask the Greeks how austerity has helped them... major cuts don't help, either!

  • goobnav Jan 7, 2015

    View quoted thread

    The President was right, he dumped a spiel on the States, both Demo and Repub controlled, that they would get funding to keep up the expansion.

    Breaking news, the President doesn't control funding, Congress does and the choice of more debt as opposed to Fiscal responsibility is callas and ridiculous.

    Ask the Greeks!!!

  • cpacandidate Jan 7, 2015

    It would be appreciated if you have a way to get older citizens back to work who have plenty of education but have been pushed out of the job market due to the cost of medical coverage mostly. You said something about work on the TV in relation to coverage. We would like nothing better. Get rid of age discrimination.

  • baldchip Jan 7, 2015

    Save our breath Pat-all Obama wants to do is ruin America!!

    You are on your own-with zero support from him. You were elected by the wrong party for him to care about you or North Carolina.

  • tracmister Jan 7, 2015

    View quoted thread

    You both right, neither the Democrats nor Republicans care about most Americans, they simply tow the party line.

  • nerdlywehunt Jan 7, 2015

    Interesting that his comes as McCrory prepares a proposal to slash medical benefits to retired public employees! Can't wait to see that spin!

  • nerdlywehunt Jan 7, 2015

    Another republican talking in circles but not proposing a single solution. Meanwhile back at the ranch the one in three citizens that don't have insurance go to the emergency rooms for medical care!!!!

  • heelhawk Jan 7, 2015

    McCrory isn't the slightest bit interested in helping the citizens of North Carolina. I imagine, however, that he interested in saving his political rear end if he can trick the people of NC into believing it was his idea, rather than admit the President was right all along.