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Morning Roundup: McCrory guarded about his stance on healthcare exchanges

Gov.-elect Pat McCrory remains guarded about what he intends to do after Gov. Bev Perdue's decision to set up a state-federal health exchange. In a statement Thursday, he said Perdue's decision gives him flexibility. Other Republican leaders blasted Perdue's decision. 

McCrory said he would talk to other Republican governors Friday. His campaign buddy S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley rejected a state exchange Thursday. More details here.

More political headlines:

--Erskine Bowles is reportedly saying -- again -- he would turn down any offer to become the next U.S. Treasury secretary, according to at least two media reports Thursday.

Gov. Perdue says North Carolina will work with feds on health care exchange

Gov. Bev Perdue announced Thursday that North Carolina would establish a health care exchange in partnership with the federal government.

“North Carolina is moving forward with implementing a process that provides much needed health insurance for every citizen,” Perdue said in a statement. “It is critical for our state to participate in decisions that affect our state’s citizens. We will not cede total control to the federal government. It remains my goal to pursue a state-based plan.”

Check back for more details. Read her letter to the feds here.

Is it time for moderate N.C. Democratic congressmen to switch parties?

The fine line between a Southern conservative Democrat and a Republican continues to fade – fast. That certainly appears to be the case in North Carolina, where two of the remaining House Democrats have adopted the tactic that in order to win re-election, they must steer clear of President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

In the past two weeks, North Carolina Democratic Reps. Mike McIntyre and Larry Kissell have announced they will not endorse Obama and, furthermore, plan to vote to repeal his signature health care plan. In North Carolina, some former supporters say it’s time for Kissell and McIntyre to change parties. Read more here.

GOP sits on healthcare exchange money

Millions in federal money has gone unspent for weeks because legislators have put off talking to the state Department of Insurance about how a national health insurance grant will be used.

Lawmakers dropped discussion of the $12.4 million grant from the Oct. 27 agenda of a high-powered group called the Joint Legislative Committee on Governmental Operations. Agencies must consult with the committee, which House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger run, before spending grant money in certain circumstances.

The money is for the state to do prep work for a health benefit exchange that the federal health insurance law would require of all states by 2014. With no grant money to support it, most of the work at the state Department of Insurance and the N.C. Institute of Medicine on the exchange has stopped. Read the full story here.

President Clinton gives shout out to Congressman Shuler

President Bill Clinton is promoting a new book about how to get the economy back to work. It includes a critique on Democratic messaging in the 2010 election, particularly on healthcare.

In an NPR interview, Clinton says Democrats need to adopt the viewpoint of North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler, a conservative who voted against President Obama's healthcare legislation.

"They could have done what Heath Shuler did ... he said it would be wrong to repeal (the law) because if we repeal (it) we'll affect millions of families who can now cover their children up to age 26," Clinton said. "And that should have been what the Democrats said: It's not a perfect bill but it's a good beginning."

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