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Press Release: Governor Pat McCrory Announces Joint Effort to Reform Medicaid

May 17, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   (919) 814 - 2100
Friday, May 17, 2013                                                                              govpress@nc.gov

Raleigh, N.C. -Governor Pat McCrory, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis joined forces today in pursuit of Medicaid reform.  A waiver is the next crucial step in pursuing innovative reform for North Carolina's Medicaid system. The federal government grants waivers that allow flexibility in how states operate and finance their Medicaid programs.

"The federal government must allow North Carolina to come up with its own solutions," said Governor McCrory. "We have a unique opportunity in North Carolina to ensure patients and taxpayers achieve the common goal of providing the best possible patient care in a system that is financially sustainable."

The Senate's budget will call for the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare a detailed waiver application for review by the General Assembly outlining the Medicaid reform plan. This plan will be in line with the Governor's vision to provide care for the whole person by uniting physical and behavioral health, increase administrative ease and efficiency for providers, create a predictable and sustainable Medicaid program for taxpayers.

"Medicaid's out-of-control costs are undermining our ability to fund core constitutional obligations like education, transportation and our judicial system," said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). "The budget we introduce next week must include over $1 billion in additional funding for out-of-control Medicaid costs. We applaud Governor McCrory for leading the effort to reform Medicaid and look forward to receiving his recommendations to effect meaningful change in the coming months."

House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) agreed and said the time for reform is now.

"We cannot continue to have frequent unplanned Medicaid shortfalls that wreak havoc on the budgeting process. Medicaid must stop being a budgetary time bomb," said Speaker Tillis.

The governor and Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos began "The Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina" reform process by issuing a request for information in early February.  The focus is on better care for patients, better customer service for providers and more predictable costs.  Secretary Wos along with Medicaid Director Carol Steckel are traveling the state getting feedback from the public on the reform to fix North Carolina's broken Medicaid system.

"With the support of Governor McCrory, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis, we are moving forward to reform our Medicaid system and will continue to have dialogue with the health care community and the public in this process," said Secretary Aldona Wos