RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — General Assembly leaders acknowledged Tuesday that a compromise for North Carolina to finally embrace Medicaid expansion is unlikely to come quickly and pinned the success of a deal in the near future in part on the membership of a key Healthcare Center Interest Group.
Speaking separately to reporters as the Legislature convened this week for sessions without a vote, Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore said high-level discussions had dwindled since the end of his main work period for the year three weeks ago.
By then, the Republican-controlled House and Senate had passed various laws that put the state on track to accept federal funds to cover 90% of medical expenses for 600,000 low-income adults who earn too much. for traditional Medicaid. . North Carolina is one of 12 states that have yet to agree to the expansion since Congress first proposed it more than a decade ago.
The Senate proposal defended by Berger accepted the expansion, but it also contained additional reforms that he said would increase the number of providers and services. They included the reduction of “certificate of need” laws that tightly regulate medical providers’ expansion plans and allow highly qualified nurses to practice without the supervision of a doctor.
The House plan leaves out those additional reforms and instead envisions the legislature returning in mid-December to vote on an expansion plan crafted by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration that contains several tax and medical benchmarks. keys.
“The bill that the Senate sent is just a no-start,” Moore said. But Berger said his chamber would not settle for a measure that only contains an expansion, but rather one that includes “supply-side increases” for health care providers and medical facilities. . Berger blamed state hospitals for not agreeing to a major rollback of certificate of need laws.
“There is still a window to do something,” he told reporters. “But quite frankly, as long as hospitals stay as intransigent as they are, I don’t see if we’re going to make any progress.”