by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
That’s the message from the governor in this morning’s announcement.
1) In light of recent Medicaid audits, the current system in North Carolina is broken and not ready to expand without great risk to the taxpayers and to the delivery of existing services to those in need. We must first fix and reform the current system.
2) The potential long-term cost to the North Carolina taxpayer and needed flexibility for reform cannot be determined based upon the information and details provided to us by the federal government.
3) There has been a lack of preparation within state government during the past year to build necessary and reliable systems to implement a state exchange.
4) Due to the ongoing political uncertainty of the federal budget deficit, there is long-term concern regarding the federal government’s continuing of its obligation for matching funds under the terms of the Medicaid expansion.
Senate Bill 4, which is getting its initial House committee hearing today, would block the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. The state could lose up to $40 million in federal funding to improve IT systems, so McCrory said that money would have to be restored.
That said, if Medicaid is experiencing nearly half a billion dollars annually in cost overruns that are difficult to trace, finding $40 million shouldn’t be a big issue.