NC Senate GOP Rejects Affordable Care ActBy
Despite last-minute objections from Gov. Pat McCrory, the Republican-led state Senate pushed through legislation Monday evening that will prevent nearly 650,000 residents from getting health insurance and block the state from establishing a health care exchange.
The GOP supermajority used the 31-17 vote to send a message to the federal government that it wants no part of the health care law signed by President Barack Obama, even as other states led by Republicans are accepting the money.
Medicaid currently covers only low-income women, disabled and elderly adults and children. But under the Affordable Care Act, the program would expand to cover anyone making 138 percent of the federal poverty level or less. The federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter.
The expansion would cover 648,000 uninsured residents, with at least 500,000 expected to enroll, the state estimates.
Senate Republicans called the money “a bait-and-switch” and the rising costs of Medicaid “a cancer” that eats the state budget.