USA Dot Com is a blog covering politics and government from a conservative Christian perspective. Verne Strickland is a 50-year veteran of investigative journalism. This blog offers a take-no-prisoners style with a modicum of biting satire. Verne and his wife of 55 years, Durrene, live in Wilmington, NC.
919-733-5708 2007 Legislative Building Raleigh, N.C. 27601
January 30, 2013 Shelly Carver, 919-301-1744 Senate Republicans Reject Obamacare Expansions Decline to pursue state-based health exchange, Medicaid expansion
NC Senate Pro Tempore PHIL BERGER Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina Senate leaders introduced legislation
Wednesday to opt out of participation in several costly provisions of
the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Senators Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson), Harry Brown (R-Onslow) and Bob Rucho
(R-Mecklenburg) filed Senate Bill 2 to exempt North Carolina from
establishing a state-based health insurance exchange or a state-federal
The bill also directs the N.C.
Department of Insurance to return unspent taxpayer funds awarded by the
federal Department of Health and Human Services earlier this month to
create a state-federal partnership exchange.
forced on us against our will by the federal government, and they should
shoulder the burden of implementing it,” said Sen. Apodaca. “Any claim
that North Carolina would ‘control’ this program is nothing more than
Senate Bill 2 also rules out expansion of the
North Carolina Medicaid program. In its 2012 decision on Obamacare, the
U.S. Supreme Court exempted states from the federal mandate to expand
Medicaid eligibility. Based on the court’s ruling, North Carolina has
the authority to opt out of expansion.
Costs for North
Carolina’s existing Medicaid program have increased significantly in
recent years. In 2012, the General Assembly was forced to fill a
surprise Medicaid shortfall that totaled more than $500 million. Recent
figures from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services indicate
that an expansion of the program would add hundreds of millions of
dollars in additional state costs to North Carolina’s Medicaid budget
“Senate Republicans are committed to ensuring
every North Carolinian receives the highest quality health care and
outcomes,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham).
“Saddling our citizens with the enormous costs of a new federal
bureaucracy and entitlements is simply not the way to achieve this
Background: Under Obamacare, each state must have
in place a health exchange where individuals and small businesses, which
are now mandated to have insurance, can purchase health care coverage.
There are three options: a state-run exchange, a state-federal
partnership exchange and a federally-run exchange. Senate leaders have
spent months evaluating the implications of each type of exchange.
In November 2012, former Gov. Beverly Perdue prematurely declared her
intent to establish a state-federal partnership exchange – three months
before the deadline for the state to make this declaration – while at
the same time applying for $73.9 million dollars in federal grant
funding to set up the new government program. *NHCGOP Chairwoman Rhonda Amorosoexpedited delivery of this news release.