Today@NCCapitol (June 10): House prepares to roll out Medicaid reform bill

Posted June 10, 2015

NC Flag, Legislative Building, Raleigh

— Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Wednesday, June 10. Here's what's going on at the General Assembly.

MEDICAID REFORM: The House Health Committee is due to take up a new version of the chamber's Medicaid Modernization Act, the latest ante in the back-and-forth between the House and the Senate over redrawing North Carolina's insurance program for the poor and disabled. WRAL.com plans to carry this meeting live. Check the Video Central box on the homepage.

The six-page bill provided to members of the committee Tuesday night is a basic outline of how a "provider-driven" system might work. It calls for a transition over six years that would gradually make the state's Medicaid costs more predictable. The idea is to have providers take on risk associated with the costs associated with caring for patients. A new Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid would keep tabs on the redrawn system.

"We know we can improve further. We can focus on the health outcomes of our citizens. We can focus on greater budget stability and predictability in the future and build on those things that are very strong in North Carolina," House Budget Chairman Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, said Tuesday before the proposed committee substitute was distributed.

In particular, Dollar said he would like to see North Carolina's doctors continue to see Medicaid patients at the same high rate relative to other states that they do now.

In the past, Senate leaders have pushed plans that would turn to managed-care companies to control costs.

"We believe this House bill incorporates many of the items that have been discussed with members of both chambers, and we hope we can continue to build support for a North Carolina-based solution," Dollar said. "We don't believe we should have out-of-state management companies getting in between patients and their doctors."

HOUSE: The state House meets at 2 p.m. and will take up a resolution honoring former UNC basketball coach Dean Smith. The chamber also still has the override vote for Senate Bill 2, the magistrates bill, on the calendar. WRAL.com plans to carry this meeting live. Check the Video Central box on the homepage.

SENATE: The state Senate meets at 2 p.m. The chamber has more than a dozen relatively non-controversial bills on the calendar.

ADVOCATES: Members of the "Moral Monday" movement are scheduled to visit the legislature late in the day. Meanwhile, Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake, holds a news conference on the state budget proposal senators are due to roll out over the weekend.

COMMITTEES WE'RE WATCHING: The General Assembly publishes a full legislative calendar daily. Here some of the committees we are watching:

SENATE RULES takes up a local government regulatory reform bill meets at 9:30 a.m. Among the provisions in the multifaceted bill is a measure that would allow local boards of elections to use an electronic voting system as long as it produced a paper ballot.

HOUSE COMMERCE meets at 11 a.m. to take up a bill that would require the liquid for e-cigarettes to be sold in containers with safety caps.

HOUSE JUDICIARY I meets at 12:30 p.m. to take up a bill intended to protect North Carolina companies from judgments in foreign courts.

SENATE COMMERCE will review the House's main economic development bill at 3 p.m. The measure is listed "for discussion only," and the review is likely a prelude to the Senate rolling out its own economic development package.


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