Archive: 2013 General Assembly

  • Democrats Push For Medicaid Expansion

    RALEIGH — Medicaid expansion is an outgrowth of Obamacare. The federal government offered to pay 100 percent of the costs of newly enrolled Medicaid patients for the first three years in the states that expanded their eligibility, with the reimbursement rate shrinking gradually to 90 percent by 2020. But several…

  • McCrory’s Budget Raises Pay While Keeping Tax Cuts

    RALEIGH — Gov Pat McCrory telegraphed his top spending priorities in the weeks leading up to Wednesday's unveiling of a $21 billion General Fund budget. The proposed 2014-15 budget is $359.5 million more than the current 2013-14 budget, representing a 1.7 percent increase. The spending plan includes modest spending increases…

  • McCrory Uses Tax Filing Deadline To Tout Historic Tax Reforms

    RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory said the package of tax simplification and rate cuts passed last year would provide more stability to business owners and leave more money in consumers’ pockets, encouraging job creation and economic growth. Analysis by the John Locke Foundation and N.C. General Assembly staff showed that most…

  • Critics Call Medicaid Reform ‘HMOs on Steroids’

    RALEIGH — Accountable care organizations that are the cornerstone of the state’s Medicaid reform plan are “HMOs on steroids,” one national expert says, and they face certain opposition in the state Senate. Each ACO would have primary care physicians, multiple providers from various disciplines, its own budget, a patient base…

  • Lawmakers Streamline Absentee Ballot Process

    RALEIGH – Tucked inside the 49 pages of broad changes to the state’s election laws approved by the General Assembly last year is a section dealing with absentee voting modifications. Lawmakers last year attempted to standardize and simplify the application process while making absentee voting more secure.

  • Doctors: Red Tape, Regulations Costing Millions

    RALEIGH — Taxpayers and patients unnecessarily pay hundreds of millions of dollars in medical costs because of arcane regulations, turf-protective hospitals, and a state regulatory agency that opposes reforms, say physicians seeking legislative relief to open more doctor-owned same-day surgery and diagnostic clinics.

  • Lawmakers Hear Dire Assessment of Obamacare Impacts

    RALEIGH — State lawmakers were presented Tuesday with a litany of potential horror stories related to the federal Affordable Care Act. At its worst, Obamacare would sock North Carolina with thousands of job losses, double-digit insurance premium increases, deep Medicare cuts to help pay for the health reform, and insolvent…

  • Critics: New Medicaid Plan Fails To Fix Cost Overruns

    RALEIGH — Unlike the managed-care model McCrory administration officials rolled out last year, the new proposal maintains the fee-for-service payment method to providers that critics have said drives up Medicaid costs. The new plan does not require providers to compete among one another, nor would the plan force providers to assume…

  • Medicaid Administrator To Face Performance Review

    RALEIGH — As Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos places a top deputy in charge of the state’s beleaguered Medicaid system, state Auditor Beth Wood has launched a cost and performance study of the nonprofit entity overseeing much of Medicaid, the joint federal/state health insurance program for…