@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Senate pushing bill to block Medicaid expansion quickly

Posted January 31, 2013

Examining Health Care, health care reform

— North Carolina would not help the federal government create a federal health insurance exchange or expand the state Medicaid program under a bill that passed the Senate Insurance Committee Thursday morning. 

The bill blocks any state agency from taking any actions related to federal health exchanges unless explicitly authorized to do so by the General Assembly.

Rose Vaughn Williams, a lawyer with the N.C. Department of Insurance, said her agency was concerned about the bill. In particular, she said, the bill could trigger greater federal involvement in jobs the state is doing now.

"They could swoop in and start taking over the duties we have," she said.

Democrats on the committee objected to the bill, saying that the state was passing on an opportunity to tailor the exchange program to meet the needs of residents.

"From a customer service standpoint, we have a tremendous opportunity," said Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham.

Some studies have shown the state would save $65 million over the next decade by expanding the Medicaid law. A report for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services suggested Medicaid expansion would create 23,000 jobs. 

"This is going to cost more jobs than it will ever create," said Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, the bill's sponsor.

The measure passed on a voice vote in committee.

Apodaca said the bill would be received in the full Senate today and debated on Monday night. 

17 Comments

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  • governorzebvance Feb 1, 7:51 a.m.

    These Republicans are not true conservatives. They're handing NC to the feds and giving up the money we have to regulate our own insurance market here. Their bill is actually very socialist, the opposite of what they purport it to be. I heard yesterday that the proposal goes even farther than they need and will cause the federal govt to swoop in on other health insurance matters. Isn't it fishy that Sen Apodaca refused to grant the fiscal note request when every "thinking" person (remember Jindal of Louisiana) knows that there will be a cost to the state?? The Republican legislative leadership will look especially studid (ala Jindal) when it finally listens ... and sees that a budget hole between $4 Million to $43 Million opens up because they have partisan blinders on and don't care about the facts. Their motto: GOP before people, and fantasy before facts.

  • governorzebvance Feb 1, 7:45 a.m.

    The fact that Senator Apodaca refused the request for fiscal note on this bill when the bill is certain to have a fiscal impact on North Carolina is quite questionable. I bet questions by the media and interested parties will also show that the proposed law overreaches on what it purports to do. It was said that one part of the proposed law even will prevent the state insurance commissioner and Deprtmt of Insurance from performing functions that, if unperformed, will cause even greater federal intervention into NC and cause severe insurance market problems here. If that's right then those overly broad, ultra-rushed provisions will cause serious negative unintended consequences. Or are the over-broad provisions unintended at all? Is the reason why the Republican legislative leadership is rushing this is that they secretly want the federal government to run our health insurance regulatory system after all instead of North Carolinians? By doing what they are doing, we will see BIG ins

  • lessismore Jan 31, 6:24 p.m.

    Downtown boy.....the party in control does this every 10 years because it is legal.....the democrats have had a welfare strangle hold on this state for over 100 years....until now. And now you complain for the first time....interesting.....

  • mep Jan 31, 4:25 p.m.

    Our States Medicaid system of payment is in shambles, and full of corruption... we need to fix it BEFORE we expand it. (If we expand it at all)

  • Road-wearier Jan 31, 4:23 p.m.

    "So much for Republicans being concerned about saving tax dollars and creating jobs."

    They're not. They're about kowtowing to Idealogical Purity and Tea Party activists. They care not one whit about the vast majority of the population. If a person can't contribute thousands to right wing PACs, that person is, to Republicans, a non-person.

  • aetius476 Jan 31, 3:33 p.m.

    ""the most vulnerable" in NC are the ones who still pay taxes and those who have jobs in something other than State or Federal programs." - phillip5

    Best statement of the day! Thanks for some sanity.....

  • aetius476 Jan 31, 3:31 p.m.

    "A savings of $65 million in tax dollars and creation of 23,000 jobs - yet Republicans are opposed.
    So much for Republicans being concerned about saving tax dollars and creating jobs." - hp277

    More useless and expensive HHS case worker and state bureaucrat jobs are not what we need. More fraud, cronyism, and riding the state employment benefits system at the taxpayer's expense.

    No thanks. Please pass on that "opportunity"....

  • hp277 Jan 31, 3:26 p.m.

    "hp277, be truthful. It's 23,000 GOVT jobs, probably mostly low-paid case workers who have every incentive to conspire to cheat the system (see Enough is Enough's comment elsewhere). After doing the bare minimum for a few years they are vested in the retirement plan and eternal health insurance. 23k more govt emps is not a good thing."
    Morrigan

    Wrong, Morrigan. The jobs will be in the health care sector due to more demand - nurses, physician assistants, office staff, Xray techs, pharmacies, etc. Notice the expansion of minute clinics at CVS, Walgreen, Target - those are all due to the coming increase in the number of people with insurance coverage - both private and govt-provided insurance.

  • dwntwnboy2 Jan 31, 3:11 p.m.

    Let's all remember this in two years when we MIGHT have the chance to toss the bums out...but then again they gerrymandered the districts so it doesn't matter what the "voters" want.

  • Terkel Jan 31, 3:05 p.m.

    hp277, be truthful. It's 23,000 GOVT jobs, probably mostly low-paid case workers who have every incentive to conspire to cheat the system (see Enough is Enough's comment elsewhere). After doing the bare minimum for a few years they are vested in the retirement plan and eternal health insurance. 23k more govt emps is not a good thing.

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