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RALEIGH, N.C. -- The budget fight over Medicaid didn't move at all on Thursday and it isn't clear that the Senate's latest proposal to the House moves the two bodies any closer to working out the future of the $13 billion federal and state program.

Senate President Phil Berger said, The effort to provide a new structure for the administration of Medicaid is something that is a priority. It's something we included in the budget last year in terms of what we wanted to be worked on in the interim and I think the bill provides a substantial improvement.

Improvement to how much Medicaid costs the state is important to everyone, but Senators feel they have had to scrap priorities to cover Medicaid shortfalls in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The latest Senate plan would also change who qualifies for Medicaid leaving roughly 5,000 people in NC without coverage.

Governor Pat McCrory has promised to veto a budget with cuts to Medicaid that effect disabled people with Alzheimer's. The governor and House leadership believe they have a good plan to reform the Department of Health and Human Services from the inside and do not want to start from scratch like what's proposed across the Legislative Building.

Back in June, at a Medicaid rally with doctors who support his reforms McCrory said, What we can't afford is to have people sit on the sidelines and delay reform.
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