Interesting column from CJ’s Day Way over North Carolina’s ongoing Medicaid problems. Medicaid is the “linchpin” to writing the 2014-2015 budget, and “things got nasty” at last week’s Senate appropriations committee meeting:

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, explained, in measured but heart-attack serious tones, why there is an elevated sense of urgency, and why he had wanted someone from the budget office at the Appropriations Committee meeting to explain Medicaid numbers that have swung from wildly varying to unaccounted for.

“Our feeling is we need to reach some understanding on the Medicaid number before we can realistically start talking about most of the other things,” including teacher pay raises and pay hikes for state workers, Berger said.

…Pressed by reporters, Berger stopped short of saying he has lost confidence in Wos’ leadership.

“I’ll leave it to others as to why they’re not able to provide that information,” he said, but he insisted this budgeting fiasco shows the need to remove Medicaid from Wos’ control and make it a standalone agency.

Of course Berger is speaking about Greensboro resident Dr. Aldona Wos, who along with Gov. Pat McCrory may have “squandered political capital by snubbing budget writers struggling with alarming lapses in vital Medicaid data.”