Before turning over the reins at the end of this month, Secretary Lanier Cansler is offering a candid assessment of the challenges facing the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Cansler sat down with N.C. Policy Watch this week to defend the agency’s performance following a critical state audit, and he criticized Republicans legislators who reneged on an earlier pledge to help close a nearly $150 million gap in the state’s Medicaid program.
“I think the legislature wants to keep pressure on the administration to try to continue to squeeze the Medicaid program,” said Cansler, who is a Republican.
The Secretary notes after three years of cuts to the department, DHHS doesn’t have discretionary funding to shore-up the Medicaid program, which serves more than one million people statewide.
This latest shortfall follows a budget mandate by the N.C. General Assembly last summer that Health and Human Services eliminate another $350 million from its bottom line.
For a preview of Sec. Cansler’s radio interview with Chris Fitzsimon, click below:
And while Cansler will return to the private sector in February, he will chair a new commission examining affordable healthcare solutions for the state.