RALEIGH — Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the new state budget does not dive very deep into healthcare issues.  Both chambers of the General Assembly approved a $27.9 billion dollar state spending plan Thursday.  It still faces review by the governor.  It features few big health initiatives.

Some highlights are:

  • $52 million for in-home personal care workers and nursing home employees to bring salaries closer to $15/hour
  • $8 million to UNC School of Medicine for staff and faculty sufficient to increase medical class by 40 students
  • $3 million to the Rural Health Loan Assistance Repayment Program for providers in rural areas
  • $1.85 million to the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services for pilot program on treatment of opioid use disorder
  • $1.3 million for the new 9-8-8 suicide/crisis hotline launching July 16
  • $14.8 million from the opioid lawsuit settlement for local mental health managers to buy medication-assisted treatments, research, and housing support
  • $7.7 million from the JUUL lawsuit settlement to help young people quit smoking
  • $3 million for crisis pregnancy centers

What remains unresolved:

  • Medicaid expansion which would provide roughly 600,000 North Carolinians healthcare.  The expansion is jointly funded by the state and federal government.


The North Carolina Medical Society has remained firm in it’s support of Medicaid expansion and has worked tirelessly with other specialty society leadership to get the plan approved.  NCMS CEO Chip Baggett has met with House and Senate leaders to discuss ways for both sides to come together.

State legislators have recessed until later this month without a resolution on the Medicaid expansion framework.  The adjournment resolution has them coming back every month for the rest of the year.