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Medicaid lawsuit dates set; GOP health care proposal postponed

If there is a court hearing in the Medicaid expansion lawsuit, it will be next Friday, Jan. 27, in New Bern, according to an order entered by U.S. District Court Judge Louise Wood Flanagan.

All parties involved in the lawsuit were set to have a teleconference tomorrow, but it was canceled after an agreed upon schedule for next week. Plaintiff and defendant responses and replies are due Monday and Wednesday, respectfully.

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger filed a lawsuit late last week against both the state and federal Department of Health and Human Services in reaction to Gov. Roy Cooper announcing plans to expand Medicaid.

They also filed for a temporary restraining order, which Flanagan granted. Now pending before the court is a motion from the defendants to vacate that restraining order and plaintiffs’ motions for preliminary and permanent injunctions, which would block Medicaid expansion efforts either until the outcome of the lawsuit or forever.

By next week, Donald Trump will be president and his administration will have the power to deny any applications from states to expand Medicaid. The fate of the Affordable Care Act as a whole also remains unknown under Trump’s administration.

North Carolina GOP leaders were supposed to hold a press conference today on the topic of “patient focused healthcare proposal for North Carolina,” but it was postponed at the last minute after a “key healthcare chair” was unable to attend, according to Garrett Ventry, a spokesman for NC House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Craven, Greene, Lenoir, Wayne).

Ventry had not yet rescheduled the press conference, but said it would likely be next week. It’s unknown what the proposal expected to be announced entailed.

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