Posted by: Allison Rice | February 6, 2013

House slowing down on health care bill

As reported in today’s Raleigh News & Observer, the House is going to take a slower approach on the anti-Obamacare bill that raced through the Senate.  The Senate gave the bill final approval yesterday. The House is going to take some time to address concerns raised by Gov. McCrory about money for the Medicaid eligibility computer system.  But so far that slow down is only about the computer money — no change of heart on Medicaid expansion, even though that will leave half a million North Carolinians still without access to health insurance.

the Cornelius Republican made it clear that the House, like the Senate, stands opposed to the federal health care law.

“I remain consistent in my opposition to both an expansion of Medicaid and the establishment of a state-based health exchange in North Carolina,” Tillis said in a statement.

McCrory is worried the bill may cost the state money because it would jeopardize a $40 million federal grant that pays for the current Medicaid tracking system. The state received the money after former Gov. Bev Perdue took the first steps toward a joint federal-state health care exchange.

“We are optimistic that we can hopefully work out an agreement with the House to deal with some of our concerns about the cost to the North Carolina taxpayers,” McCrory said Tuesday. “We hope we can work those out before it gets through the legislature because we continue to have those concerns.”

For those of us who need some straws to grasp, WTVD reports that even Republican Senate leader Phil Berger hasn’t ruled out the possibility of expansion if the terms of the deal with the feds were different:

Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe, said the Medicaid expansion, which is expected to help 500,000 uninsured residents get coverage, would help the state economy. Even if the bill passes, Nesbitt said, lawmakers could still change their minds on the options later this year. Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, has said that was possible.

“We can come back if the promises of the federal government seem to be better than they seem at this time,” Berger said Monday.

I wonder what he would consider a better promise?

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