Gov. Pat: ‘Door Open’ to ObamaCare, expanding Medicaid

laughMedicaid is trying to break North Carolina’s economy.  It’s an out-of-control mess.  In 2013, as ObamaCare was being implemented, states were being encouraged to expand their Medicaid programs as a way to smooth the rollout of that bureaucratic nightmare.

In 2013, conservatives urged the GOP majority on Jones Street to block the expansion of Medicaid — as a way of protesting ObamaCare.  At the time, Gov. Pat and Speaker Thom belly-ached about that tactic.  But, seeing the votes were not on their side, they quietly went along.

In late 2013, Gov. Pat decided to start picking a fight with legislators.  He vetoed two pieces of legislation they passed, and the honorables proceeded to force-feed those vetoes to him.

In 2014, Gov. Pat’s fellow Charlottean — Speaker Thom — is seeking to replace Kay Hagan in the US Senate.  Gov. Pat has decided to, um, “aid” that effort by publicly attacking the Republican majority in the General Assembly.

While serious work is going on about the state budget, Gov. Pat is off watching minor league baseball, chatting up NPR,  and hanging out with Joe Biden and other politicos in Tennessee.  He’s apparently enjoying the national media attention he’s receiving in Nashville.  Fox News asked Gov. Pat if he’s planning to run for president in 2016.  (At this rate, Pat’s going to have a rough time getting renominated — much less re-elected — as governor in 2016.)

The Washington Post has fawned over Gov. Pat.  Our guv — bashfully blushing over the attention from the drivebys — decided to babble to The Post about how he’s reconsidering ObamaCare: bergerveto

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) said Monday he would leave the door open to expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act if federal officials allow his state to craft a plan that fits its own individual needs.

In an interview on WFAE, Charlotte’s NPR affiliate, McCrory defended North Carolina’s refusal to expand existing Medicaid programs until fixes are made.

“We decided not to [expand the program] because first of all the existing Medicaid system in North Carolina is broken,” McCrory said. “I felt, before you expand something, why don’t you fix the services to those people in which Medicaid was originally designed.”

Asked directly whether North Carolina would ever expand Medicaid, McCrory said nothing is off the table: “I’m leaving that door open. Once we fix the current system, I have not closed that door as governor.”

McCrory was one of a handful of governors, along with New Jersey’s Chris Christie (R), Connecticut’s Dannel Malloy (D) and Nebraska’s Dave Heineman (R), who met over the weekend with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell on the sidelines of the National Governors Association meeting in Nashville. McCrory said he was exploring whether HHS would sign off on waivers that would allow North Carolina to craft its own plan.

“What we’re trying to figure out is how we can get more waivers to adapt to what North Carolina needs. For example, if I expand Medicaid, can we do it in a strategic way instead of across the board?” McCrory said.

If North Carolina and HHS were to agree upon waivers, McCrory would be following a well-trod path of Republican governors who accept federal money to cover more low-income Americans under Medicaid, even if they don’t call it Medicaid expansion. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) and Christie accepted federal funding to expand Medicaid. So did Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), though his administration cast it as a solution individually tailored to Hoosier needs.

But passing Medicaid expansion, or anything like it, would be politically difficult, given the heavily conservative bent of the Republican-dominated state legislature. The legislature passed a measure in 2013 to prevent the state from accepting Medicaid expansion, and both House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) and state Senate President Phil Berger (R) are against expansion.

We’re told that Speaker Thom is Gov. Pat’s ONLY friend in the General Assembly.  But he’s GONE at the end of the year — regardless of how the November vote goes.  That leaves Phil Berger as the lone BIG DOG on the block.  That’s right.  The guy McCrory has been mercilessly attacking every time a microphone gets shoved in front of his face. 

14 thoughts on “Gov. Pat: ‘Door Open’ to ObamaCare, expanding Medicaid

  1. I find this comment by McCrory to be very interesting.

    Eight months ago, a friend of mine related this story which occurred when he was at a fundraiser for George Holding, co-hosted by none other than Pat McCrory. When McCrory stood up to give a short speech, he declared that he refused to expand Medicare because it would take money away from those seniors for whom Medicare was intended in the first place.

    My friend came away more impressed with McCrory than he previously was, until he reflected on the fact that McCrory had to know that he was speaking to a conservative audience.

    Which underscores a point I made in a previous post about how when McCrory does speak in such a setting, you’d think he was Ronald Reagan.

    So we’re either looking at a baldfaced liar or someone who has “evolved”. Either way, I really wish he’d get a serious Primary challenge in 2016.

  2. Can Tillis and McCrory spell O-B-A-M-A-C-A-R-E? That is EXACTLY what expansion of the big government program Medicaid is. Doesn’t Tillis have enough problems already with the GOP base? Many remember that Tillis pushed a bill through the House to set up a state Obamacare exchange in NC, and it was the conservatives in the Senate who drove the stake through its rotten heart. And we remember, as you point out, that Tillis and McCrory both tried to keep their options open on the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

    Medicaid is an out of control welfare program that is busting taxpayers humps, both at state and county level. We need to rein in this big government program, not expand it.

    Are Tillis and McCrory trying to mark themselves as Obama Republicans? I don’t think they would do that intentionally, but are they just getting bad advice? The loss of Jack Hawke is really apparent in some of McCrory’s policy moves and it is hurting McCrory. I do hope McCrory can get his act together, but it may be too late for Tillis. Tillis is following Rove’s playbook and Rove has lost 10 of the 12 Senate races he has been involved with.

  3. According the Paul Krugman and the Democrats, “Obamacare has failed to fail.”

    Kay Hagan may ride the success of Obamacare to victory while Pat & Thom try to jump on the bandwagon.

    1. Paul Krugman is a far left propagandist. Why would you believe a word he writes?

      Obamacare has failed with the American people. A look at any poll will tell you that. The problem has been our spineless GOP leadership in DC that has refused to really fight on this or other issues.

    2. First Coop’s standing ovation for FDR, now this. What passes for conservatism these days?

  4. Berger is leading so called conservatives off a cliff this Nov.Enjoy the ride.The democrats sure are.

    1. You seem to be the voice of ”Blueprint” on this site.

      And it is odd to see a GOP Governor trying to score points for Rev. Barber

  5. Posted from FRIENDS of Adult Care Home’s

    Hard to Believe But True…The NC Senate
    Posted on July 15th, 2014

    It is hard to believe but true! The NC Senate wants to cut Medicaid to thousands of NC Citizens; about 12,000 that live in the adult care homes….many with Alzheimer’s.

    It is shocking! The serious harm this will cause to vulnerable aged and disabled citizens will be devastating.

    It has been said the residents that live in the adult care homes can sign up for Medicare and Obama Care. That kind of thinking tells us that folks don’t know what they are talking about or just plain don’t care! It is against the law for people who are Medicare eligible to sign up for Obama Care.

    People will have no money to pay for premiums, co-pays or supplemental insurance for Medicare. Homes will close. Harm will come to residents; thousands of families will be affected and more than 20,000 staff will lose their jobs. Some will die if this drastic and atrocious policy is adopted.

    In the news- House Leaders: Budget gulf remains wide

    Letter from the NCALTCF Director of Government Relations to the Senate 744 Conferees

    CALL TO ACTION!!!
    Our residents need you to call your North Carolina State Senator. Look up your Senator by County here!
    As budget negotiations continue, it’s time the Senate negotiates to achieve a budget that protects Medicaid recipients. Contact the Senate 744 Conferees Now!

    This will beat republicans in November.Take money away from those in Alzheimer,s care and assisted living care and justify that.

    1. Medicaid is a form of welfare. You are clearly a Big Government guy. Are you an Obama Republican or an Obama Democrat.

      Medicaid is busting the taxpayers’ hump at both the state and county level, and needs to be cut back.

      1. So is social security and medicare as well as medicare part D.As well as food stamps.Run on eliminating all of them and see who many you can get elected.You need to find yourself a little survival cabin and leave the rest of us alone.When one of your relatives gets Alzheimer’s or dementia you will need medicaid and a special care unit to care for them.Unless you are a multi millionaire.

        1. Wrong! Social Security and Medicare are poorly run compulsory monopolies that the government has been charging us for all of our working lives. They are NOT giveaway programs like Medicaid.

          Personally, I wish I could have opted out of Social Security, not paid my money in to the government, but instead invested it myself where I could get a much much higher return.

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