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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Several physicians and nurses say the North Carolina legislature's choice to cover more uninsured people through Medicaid should be a no-brainer because it will create jobs, save state money and make people healthier.

The medical specialists spoke at a Legislative Building news conference Monday, a day before a House committee takes up a bill to prevent North Carolina from expanding Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul. The measure passed the Senate last week.

Dr. Charles Van Der Horst of the UNC medical school says it makes no sense to surrender $15 billion from the federal government that could cover 500,000 more state residents. A study says the expansion would generate 23,000 net jobs.

Senate Republicans say they're worried the state will soon have to pay more of the bill.

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