The N.C. House won’t vote until next week on whether to accept significant Senate changes to its historic Medicaid expansion bill.
House speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, said during Thursday’s floor session that the House would not vote on any bills in the Monday and Tuesday sessions, meaning the first day the bill could come before the House is March 22.
The Senate voted 44-2 on third reading Wednesday to approve the latest version of House Bill 76, which means expanding the state Medicaid program to between 450,000 and 650,000 North Carolinians is one vote away from potentially being signed into law.
HB76 has been returned to the House for a vote on whether to accept substantial changes, primarily the easing or elimination of certificate-of-need restrictions on certain health-care providers.
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Typically when a bill has that many changes made by the other chamber, the returned bill will be voted down and then sent to a concurrence committee to negotiate a potential compromise.
However, since Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, announced their support for the changes March 2, HB76 could be sent to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper as soon as next week.
That would place North Carolina in position to be the 40th expansion state, and just second in the Southeast.