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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The North Carolina General Assembly is worried another Medicaid shortfall could be ahead.

Legislators on a health oversight committee raised questions this week about the financial picture of the government insurance program for 1.7 million North Carolina residents.

The state budget office said it was too early in the fiscal year to determine whether Medicaid budget funding would fall behind actual expenditures, but legislators remained troubled.

The figures didn't take into account hundreds of millions of dollars in claims by doctors, hospitals and other providers delayed because of hiccups in a new Medicaid billing system.

The state budget already set aside more than $500 million this year to handle extra Medicaid costs. Gov. Pat McCrory and fellow Republican legislators blamed Medicaid demands for preventing state employee and teacher salary increases.


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