As promised, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper sent out a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand Medicaid in his state.
But there are some major hurdles.
Cooper plans to extend Medicaid as allowed under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which would provide health care to over half a million people by January 2018. However, his predecessor, Pat McCrory, a Republican, passed a law in 2013 that prevents Cooper to do just that.
"It is common sense for North Carolina to keep its options open as we go into this new health care arena under a Trump presidency," Cooper said, the Triangle Business Journal reports.
"I believe that North Carolina needs to move forward with this plan, but in order for it to be successful, we have to have some cooperation — and, specifically, we have to make sure that North Carolina meets its match."
In addition, the incoming Trump administration and Republicans in Washington, D.C., are preparing to repeal the very law through which Cooper plans to expand Medicaid.
Currently, around 1.8 million people receive health care via Medicaid in North Carolina. It costs approximately $14 billion a year. The federal government pays two-thirds of the total budget.
Cooper’s plan would make half a million more people eligible for the program.
“The state will accept comments for 10 days on North Carolina’s notice of intent to amend its Medicaid plan. The Cooper Administration then will file a State Plan Amendment with CMS,” reads a statement by Cooper, released on Friday.
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