RALEIGH —  This week, North Carolina House Republicans filed a Medicaid expansion bill in the state House.

On Wednesday, February 8, 2023, the talk in the Legislature, and with medical professionals around the state, returned to the possibility that North Carolina would join almost every other state in the country by expanding Medicaid benefits. It is a cause state Democrats have pushed for years, but it remained stalled when legislators went home last year.

Now, the NC House will hear and likely vote on Medicaid expansion next week.  The bill’s scheduled for debate in the chambers health committee on Tuesday and would direct the state to start covering several hundred thousand people next year.  Floor votes could come later Tuesday and Wednesday.

North Carolina is one of a very few states that have not expanded Medicaid.  Many of the people who would be affected work in jobs that do not offer health care benefits.  They make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, yet cannot afford to purchase it. If it is successful it would extend healthcare to hundreds of thousands of people in the state considered the working poor.

If that state expands healthcare, the federal government will pay North Carolina $1.8 billion.

Per Gary Robertson of the Associated Press, the House bill would also direct the state to participate in a program that would result in higher reimbursements for hospital systems when they treat Medicaid patients.  It lays out efforts to help Medicaid recipients access workforce development initiatives as they seek to return to employment of establish new careers.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has broken down exactly how expansion would elevate the state.  Read the full report here.

The North Carolina Medical Society is following this legislation closely and we will talk about it in-depth in our next Political Pulse.