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Bill To Close NC Medicaid Shortfall Passes House

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File photo of doctor. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of doctor. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina legislators are prepared to give the state Medicaid agency access to another $400 million through next month to close a shortfall and repay drug rebates to the federal government.

The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to permit budget director Art Pope to use unspent funds, cost savings and surplus tax collections to cover a projected $283 million shortfall in Medicaid spending this fiscal year. Rep. Nelson Dollar says there’s also $118 million to pay off a rebate liability budget-writers shifted previously as a cost-saving measure.

Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration announced recently the Medicaid shortfall had more than doubled due to a forecasting error.

Thursday’s debate turned into a partisan discussion of who was to blame for repeated shortfalls. The bill now goes to the Senate.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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