Local News

State, County Leaders Haggle Over Medicaid Funding

Posted January 31, 2007 8:47 p.m. EST

Medicaid has become a big issue for North Carolina legislators during the current term of the General Assembly. On Wednesday, fiscal analysts briefed lawmakers on the Medicaid impact in the state.

Both the state and counties pick up part of the tab for the low-income federal health care program. In 2006, the state paid $2.9 billion for Medicaid services, which accounted for about 16 percent of the state’s general fund. Counties shelled out well over $400 million.

There's very little wiggle room with Medicaid programs, which are mandatory services where funding is required by law.

Congressman G.K. Butterfield has filed federal legislation to prevent states from passing on the Medicaid burden to counties. Convincing the state to do that is a top legislative priority for local governments this year.