by Becki Gray
Former Senior Vice President, John Locke Foundation
Although Medicaid expansion was expected to come up today at the Joint Legisaltive Oversight Committee, it was delayed, postponed til the Dec 9 meeting, according to news reports.
The legislature will have to wait until December to find out if state health officials will recommend, or not, to expand to the state’s Medicaid program.
The agenda for the legislative oversight committee on health and human services – released just before Tuesday’s meeting – indicated there would not be a presentation from the Medicaid reform subcommittee…….
There was no explanation on the agenda for why the reports were forwarded to the Dec. 9 meeting.
The N.C. Medicaid program was estimated at $13.6 billion in fiscal 2013-14, covering more than 1.85 million individuals.
Gov. Pat McCrory has said he would rely on state health Secretary Dr. Aldona Wos in determining whether, and when, to expand the state Medicaid program to cover potentially about 500,000 more North Carolinians.
Wos has said multiple times she could make an expansion recommendation “soon.”
Policy makers should reject Medicaid expansion. Expansion would steer resources away from the ones who need help the most. Most NC voters do not support expansion. There are other reasons why lawmakers should not expand Medicaid. At the very least they should wait and see what a new Congress does with Obamacare in 2015 And then probably wait until 2016 when we’ll have a new president with perhaps very different views on healthcare policy.