Under the Dome

After court ruling, no plan for Medicaid expansion in NC

Gov. Pat McCrory said Thursday there are many more questions to be answered before he would move for a Medicaid expansion that would add more residents to the government insurance plan.

McCrory had expressed an interest in expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but had said earlier this year that, until the U.S. Supreme Court case was resolved, it would not make sense to advance a plan.

Answering questions after the Supreme Court ruling on Thursday, McCrory, a Republican, said the issue needs more study and an analysis of data from states that have expanded Medicaid.

“My answer is dependent upon what I think would be best for North Carolina,” he said. “I don’t want a Washington plan for Medicaid, I want a North Carolina plan. It’s a very complex issue. You can’t just say are you for or against it.”

Medicaid expansion would need approval from the state legislature, and both House and Senate leaders have said they don’t want it.

Senate leader Phil Berger reiterated those points Thursday afternoon.

“We still have a system of Medicaid in North Carolina that’s broken. I don’t think the Supreme Court’s decision in this case makes any difference in what we need to do,” said Berger, an Eden Republican.

House Speaker Tim Moore indicated as much in a statement as well.

Moore pointed to a Medicaid-reform bill that recently passed the House, though it is much different than a version that has cleared the Senate.

“This reform will allow the State to fully fund enrollment growth and eliminate wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars,” Moore said. “Medicaid reform, not expansion, will remain the priority, and today’s Court ruling will not directly impact North Carolina’s final decision.”

The state Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Medicaid, has maintained that the system has improved.

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