The top leaders in North Carolina’s legislature reached an agreement that is expected to expand Medicaid coverage. The momentous deal, announced Thursday, is the culmination of more than a decade of political wrangling and a Republican change of heart.
The deal will allow North Carolina, at no cost to state government, to give health insurance to hundreds of thousands of the state’s working poor. The federal government will pay for 90% of the cost, and the rest will be covered by a new tax on hospitals and insurance companies.
However, Democratic legislative leaders Sen. Dan Blue and Rep. Robert Reives noted that Democrats have been trying to make this a reality for years.
“This is long overdue,” Reives said. Blue said Medicaid expansion will be “a lifeline for working adults and rural communities.”