Under the Dome

McCrory, Berger & Tillis say they're on the same Medicaid reform page

The top three Republican politicians in the state announced Friday they are all together when it comes to Medicaid reform.

Gov. Pat McCrory, Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis sent out a joint news release emphasizing that – despite criticism of the move toward privatization – the state is proceeding with plans to reign in costs in the $13 billion program.

Their joint announcement said the state Senate’s budget will require the state Department of Health and Human Services submit a waiver application to the federal government. The budget, which will be released Sunday evening, will have to be approved by both chambers in the General Assembly.

A federal waiver would allow the state flexibility in operating and paying for its Medicaid programs. McCrory has said he wants to privatize some of Medicaid as a way to reduce cost overruns.

Guiding principles in the state’s reform plan include focusing on behavior as a way to improve health, making it easier on providers, and developing a reliable estimate of costs.

On Thursday, the House approved spending $400 million through next month to close the current shortfall and repay the federal government other debts.

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