Jun 29, 2022 - News

The N.C. House passed Medicaid expansion, but the Senate doesn't love it

Illustration of a boxing ring bell with the red cross symbol on it.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The North Carolina House passed its own plan to expand Medicaid in the state Tuesday, but the bill is unlikely to advance beyond that if a standoff between the House and Senate continues.

Why it matters: Medicaid expansion, if signed into law, would grant health care to some 600,000 of North Carolina’s poorest residents. But the two legislative chambers have yet to agree on how to make that happen.

Between the lines: After the Senate passed its Medicaid proposal earlier this month, House Republican leaders said they wouldn’t take up the issue during this legislative session.

  • Turns out they did, but the bill they passed yesterday includes lines that would delay the implementation of expansion by several months — something Senate leader Phil Berger doesn’t want to do.
  • House leaders also still oppose several provisions in the Senate’s plan, including one that would remove some regulatory requirements for advanced practice registered nurses.

What’s next: Berger said in a press conference Tuesday that the Senate would look at the House’s proposal. But he’s been critical of early drafts.

  • “It is past time for action,” Berger said in a statement emailed to reporters last week.

What they’re saying: Gov. Roy Cooper, however, seems optimistic that the two chambers are still discussing the issue.

  • “I’m encouraged that both the House and Senate agree that North Carolina needs to expand Medicaid,” Cooper said in a tweet Tuesday. “It is imperative that an agreement is reached to get this done now.”
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