News: Quick Takes

Cooper outlines Medicaid expansion plans

In a press release issued late Friday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper rolled out his request to federal officials to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Even though legislative leaders charge the plan as illegal, Cooper says a 2013 state law barring any state agency or official from modifying Medicaid without the General Assembly’s approval “does not apply to this draft plan.”

The release includes links to the benefit package the Cooper administration is asking to incorporate for new Medicaid enrollees, basing the benefits on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina “Blue Options” plan.

The N.C. Hospital Association has said it would support Medicaid expansion only if a plan met the approval of the governor, legislative leaders, and federal officials — and if hospitals were not expected to foot the state’s share of the bill for new services.

Carolina Journal will provide in-depth analysis of the governor’s proposal in the days ahead.