@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

White House calls for North Carolina to expand Medicaid

Posted December 9, 2013
Updated December 10, 2013

— The Obama administration is pressuring North Carolina to expand its Medicaid health insurance program for the poor and disabled, something Republican lawmakers and Gov. Pat McCrory have said they're not willing to do. 

"This is actually a net budgetary benefit to those states that choose to expand Medicaid," said Josh Earnest, principal deputy press secretary for President Barack Obama. Earnest, along with Durham Mayor Bill Bell and state Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, participated in a conference call with North Carolina-based reporters Monday.

All three pressed the point that expanding the health insurance program would allow 377,000 North Carolina residents to obtain coverage. Most would earn too much to qualify for the current Medicaid program but are too poor to qualify for health insurance subsidies offered under the Affordable Care Act.

Originally, the ACA, which some people call Obamacare, required states to expand coverage to those making up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down that provision, making expansion optional, while keeping the bulk of the law in tact.

Earlier this year, North Carolina lawmakers opted not to expand Medicaid, a decision McCrory ultimately backed. Both lawmakers and the governor said the state's Medicaid system was already overtaxed and could not handle more patients. Some state legislators said they did not want to expand North Carolina's dependence on federal funding.

A spokeswoman for McCrory said Monday that the governor has not changed his position. Lawmakers have shown no signs of reversing course.

Earnest pointed out that other states with Republican governors, including Arizona and Ohio, have embraced expansion. 

"Too often, we see partisan politics get in the way of good decision-making," Earnest said. "I'm not sure there is another explanation."

39 Comments

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  • mewuvbb Dec 10, 2013

    We Need to expand it.

  • junkmail5 Dec 10, 2013

    in the House. You know... where spending begins- mep

    Not sure why you keep repeating that lie when I've corrected you on it at least 5 times now.

    There is ABSOLUTELY NO REQUIREMENT for spending bills to begin in the house.

    REVENUE bills (bills whose primary purpose is to RAISE money- like taxes) must originate in the house.

    Bills that SPEND money can originate in either half of the congress.

    Maybe try reading the constitution some time? It has all kinds of neat stuff like this in it!

    The taxes already belong to the FEDERAL govt... not the State. To allow the Federal govt to expand a clearly broken Medicaid system, while digging EVERY taxpayer even deeper into debt.- Mep

    ... what?

    Those in NC are -already- paying those taxes.

    The ONLY thing rejecting the medicaid expansion does is send the $ paid by those in NC to OTHER states.

  • junkmail5 Dec 10, 2013

    I blame the deficit on the Democrats and Obama is the leader of that party, so yes, it is fair to blame him-Gary Too

    So, to be clear:

    When the president is a democrat and runs a surplus, you CAN NOT give him credit.

    But when the president is a democrat and runs a deficit, that's TOTALLY his fault.

    Oh, and apparently when the president is Republican and runs a deficit, that's NOT his fault.

    Nice double standard! at least you ADMIT it is one!

    what about the projected 16 trillion surplus that Bush left when Obama took over?
    Gary_too

    You mean the one you just made up?

    Because back in reality, it was BUSH who inherited a projected 6 trillion SURPLUS from Clinton.

    He turned that into 6 trillion in NEW debt instead.

    Then left Obama with the FY09 budget- the largest deficit in US History.

    But somehow none of that is the republicans fault, right?

  • Pirate01 Dec 10, 2013

    So in a couple of years when the feds pull the plus the taxpayers of North Carolina are going to be stuck paying for a few hundred thousand more freeloaders. That money would of course then be taken out of the budget for the schools and state parks so then we could hear how bad that is from dems. And of course they are then going to say we need to raise taxes on everyone to pay for all of this because "we hate the schools". We just got out of a $3 billion dollar Medicaid debt left over from the previous dems that took money away from the schools. NOW dems want to do it again?!?!

  • beaupeep Dec 10, 2013

    "White House calls....."

    We need to get on that Federal "Do Not Call" list!

  • tracmister Dec 10, 2013

    Let's see. Our taxes already are paying for this; therefore, the NCGOP is losing money while other states are getting it. 300,000 more people might be covered which ultimately creates jobs, but the job creators don't want that. Another quality NCGOP move!

  • Gary_too Dec 10, 2013

    Then you'd agree the CURRENT deficits can't be blamed on Obama, right?

    While you're at it- you'd have to blame the REPUBLICANS for their role turning the 6 trillion projected SURPLUS they inherited when Bush was elected into 6 trillion in NEW DEBT right? I mean they had control of both houses and the presidency for half his 8 years right? (and at least 2 out of 3 for 2 more years) junkmail5

    I blame the deficit on the Democrats and Obama is the leader of that party, so yes, it is fair to blame him. And what about the projected 16 trillion surplus that Bush left when Obama took over?

  • mep Dec 10, 2013

    By NOT taking the money back we simply pass OUR taxes on to OTHER states.
    junkmail5

    The taxes already belong to the FEDERAL govt... not the State. To allow the Federal govt to expand a clearly broken Medicaid system, while digging EVERY taxpayer even deeper into debt.... based on a "promise" that the costs of Medicaid expansion would be covered is just plain STUPID. EVERYONES taxes, EVERYONES debt. $17 trillion and climbing.

    As for the so-called Clinton surplus... LOL it was on paper AT BEST. And due in no small part to Newt's compromises in the House. You know... where spending begins. So we as a nation should really consider returning to Clinton era tax levels... AND Clinton era spending levels.

    I doubt a Democrat would EVER agree to that!

  • junkmail5 Dec 10, 2013

    Sorry Junk- I misunderstood one of your comments. You were not serious when you said Bill Clinton should be credited for the balanced budget in his administration- Foolmeonce

    Well, to be clear, I meant he should be credited for the balanced budget JUST AS MUCH as Obama is credited for the current deficits.

    So either you can "blame" Obama but "credit" Clinton... or you can go with the policy NEITHER is responsible for the budget because that's Congress job.

    You can't have it both ways though and blame Obama for the running a deficit but deny Clinton credit for running a surplus.

    I'm fine with the "it's congress fault in all cases" answer, since it's the most constitutionally accurate one... but there again you'll have to be willing to blame the republicans when they had control and ran deficits in the 2000s if you wanna credit them with surpluses in the 90s.

  • icdmbpppl Dec 10, 2013

    Sorry Junk- I misunderstood one of your comments. You were not serious when you said Bill Clinton should be credited for the balanced budget in his administration. You already knew the republicans were in control of the money during his term when he had a balanced budget.

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