@NCCapitol

Senate passes Medicaid fix

Posted May 16, 2012 6:37 p.m. EDT
Updated May 17, 2012 8:51 a.m. EDT

North Carolina flag, NC flag, state flag, N.C. flag

— The state Senate voted 47-0 to fill a $205 shortfall in North Carolina's Medicaid health insurance program for the poor and disabled. 

Under a measure that will now go to the House, the Department of Health and Human Services will be able to move money from other sources, including money set aside for building repairs and funds left unspent from across state government at the end of the year.

The shortfall was created because lawmakers anticipated they could save money by making dozens of changes to the state's Medicaid program. However, the federal government needs to sign off on all such changes. Those federal approvals came more slowly -- or have not come at all in some cases -- than lawmakers anticipated, sparking the cost overrun.

Even with the deal making its way through the legislature now, Medicaid may have a shortfall when the fiscal year ends on June 30. Lawmakers say the shortfall could reach $250 million, about $45 million more than Wednesday's fix could patch.