Gov. Pat McCrory has said he is waiting to see how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a challenge to the federal health-care law, but he says he is also actively exploring Medicaid coverage options while he waits.
In a recent interview with The News & Observer, the governor said one option involves convincing hospitals and other private entities to help plug a gap in funding that would occur – if the state signs on to expansion – when federal financial support drops by 2020 from 100 percent to 90 percent of the cost of expanding Medicaid.
“They would have to have skin in the game to cover the extra 10 percent,” McCrory said.
His administration is also looking into what waivers federal officials might grant that they haven’t been willing to grant in the past, and whether North Carolina could craft its own coverage plan and not be forced to adopt a national model. He said he is also reviewing what other states are doing.
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“I’m looking at what options we have to cover the uninsured,” McCrory said. “I have not made a decision, because of the complexity.”
The governor has previously indicated a willingness to expand Medicaid coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act, but legislative leaders oppose it. An estimated 300,000 to 500,000 people would gain health insurance if the state exercised its option to expand the coverage.
Next month, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging federal tax credits in the health-care law linked to coverage obtained through federally-funded online health insurance markets. A ruling is expected this summer, and McCrory says it makes sense to wait until then before proposing something specific.
“Whatever recommendations or options I give to the legislature, I want to make sure they hear all sides of the story, and so will the public,” McCrory said.