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Republican Gov. Pat McCrory issued a memorandum this afternoon to state agencies directing them to stop salary increases and send extra dollars to the state Medicaid office to offset an anticipated budget shortfall.

McCrory’s memorandum came with a critical reference to his predecessor, former Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue, and how her office dealt with Medicaid shortfall issues by adjusting the budget.

McCrory with lawmakers signing the No Medicaid Expansion law

McCrory with lawmakers signing the No Medicaid Expansion law

“It is time to solve the mess, not kick the can down the road and manipulate the budget as was done in the past,” McCrory said, according to a written statement. “It stops now.”

The state is anticipating $70 million to $130 million more in expenses for Medicaid in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, than the $13 billion budgeted by the state legislature.

McCrory also indicated in the memorandum that state revenue was up by $100 million, removing most of the sting out of the anticipated shortfall.

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Adam Searing has an important op-ed today over on the main Policy Watch site about the bogus attacks leveled against the state Medicaid program last week by Governor McCrory, HHS Secretary Aldona Wos and State Auditor Beth Wood.

Critics of North Carolina’s Medicaid program – the publicly-funded health insurance program for adults and children of low income – made some headlines in recent days by touting a new state audit that supposedly showed a large and previously unreported budget deficit. The critics, who included Governor McCrory and his State Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos, claimed that Medicaid had gone $375 over budget with state dollars and more than $1 billion over budget when federal dollars are included.

At the Governor’s news conference announcing the audit, DHHS Secretary Wos, lectured the Medicaid section of her agency: “Cost overruns will not be tolerated and will not be acceptable …There’s a budget for a reason.”

Conservatives are also using this audit as a reason for the state not to expand the Medicaid program to cover a half-million uninsured people as made possible by Obamacare (even though the expansion would be financed almost completely by the federal government).

There’s just one problem with McCrory and Wos’ conclusion: It’s bogus.

Read the entire column by clicking here.