McCrory takes pragmatic view of Medicaid

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One of the first pieces of legislation approved this year by the Republican-controlled N.C. General Assembly was a bill barring the state from expanding Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul.

Gov. Pat McCrory at the time had asked legislative leaders to delay action on the bill while his administration studied the condition of the Medicaid program and weighed the consequences of getting on board with the federal government to expand Medicaid eligibility to as many as 500,000 low-income North Carolinians.

Republican legislative leaders ignored his request.

McCrory signed the legislation into law, declaring that before considering Medicaid expansion, the state’s current system – which has been running over budget for several years – needs to be revamped.

McCrory on March 8 ordered state agencies to trim expenses to help cover yet another shortfall in the Medicaid program, which is on track to spend $70 million to $130 million more in state funds than originally was budgeted through June 30.

McCrory again vowed to fix the Medicaid program and has directed N.C. Department of Health and Human Services officials to bring its spending under control.

While GOP legislative leaders were quick to refuse North Carolina’s participation in the federal health care reform on ideological grounds, the governor is showing the pragmatic, problem-solving approach on which he built a reputation while serving as mayor of Charlotte.

The state certainly needs to get Medicaid’s fiscal house in order. There will be plenty of opportunities to revisit its expansion at a later time.

Comments

Medicaid reform

If they want to fix the over spending then they need to go after all these people who know how to milk the system for everything it's worth! I personally know about 12 people who are on medicaid who lied their A** off to get it. They know how and what to say to get it. Then they should also do like Florida and several more states are currently doing and drug test any person who is in or applies to the system. I'm a 100% service connected disable vet. I can't afford to see a dentist because my ins. doesn't cover it. Yet I know of a perfectly healthy 48 year old man who has worked 95% of his life under the table and has never paid a dime in income or payroll taxes. Yet, because he duped his way in the system gets full dental and medical and uses it constantly. Where is the justice in that?

medicaid

I am all for eliminating waste and abuses of medicaid, but I don't feel we can afford to turn down federal money when so many people are hurting . With 9% umemployment many people cannot afford medical care or insurance. This ends up costing us more in emergency room visits and more serious ailmnents which could be avoided if people could afford to go to a doctor and get their prescriptions before they end up in the emergency room or dead!

Pragmaticism or Obstructionism?

My understanding is that it is difficult to project the exact costs of Medicaid to the state each year -- since the number of individuals seeking Medicaid and the health care services they seek vary greatly. Although I am sure the state agency can revise it's formula for estimating these costs, I understand that the real cost of the deficit is that the General Assembly didn't allot the necessary funds requested by the department. The real issue here is whether the Governor will apply his vaunted pragmaticism and problem-solving skills to meeting the needs of North Carolinians for health care and education by creating a budget that takes into account the real costs of meeting those needs or whether he will 'pragmatically' go along to get along and accede to Senator Berger and Representative Tillis' desire to cut taxes for corporations on the backs of North Carolina citizens. I'm hoping for the real thing but waiting for the evidence.

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