Governor Pat McCrory said this week he’d be open to the idea of Medicaid expansion, if the Obama administration will allow North Carolina to craft its own state-specific plan under the Affordable Care Act.
Legislative leaders in House and Senate have been far more skeptical.
Sen. Ralph Hise, co-chair of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services, has called expansion “impossible” at this point.
But Sen. Josh Stein says it would be “incomprehensible” for the Republican-controlled legislature to turn its back on Medicaid expansion dollars again.
“Six billion dollars and 30,000 jobs we would have had if we had taken it two years ago,” explained Stein. “Well, we didn’t. We are where we are today. They made the bad decision, but they can rectify that tomorrow.”
Earlier this week, Brad Wilson, President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield, also made the case for expansion at 13th Annual Economic Forecast Forum. Wilson told the audience the state has lost $1.1 billion by not expanding Medicaid.
Sen. Stein appears this weekend on NC Policy Watch’s News & Views to discuss the chances for expansion in a tight budget year, as we preview the upcoming “long” legislative session. Click below for a preview of Stein’s radio interview with Chris Fitzsimon.