Health Care

N.C. Medicaid expansion finally begins

It will go into effect immediately but newly eligible residents can’t be added until December.
North Carolina Republican Senate leader Phil Berger, left, and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper shake hands at a ceremony celebrating Medicaid expansion Monday, March 27, 2023, at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Hannah Schoenbaum)

North Carolina’s plan to expand Medicaid coverage to up to 600,000 residents cleared one of its final hurdles early Friday morning when lawmakers approved the state budget, concluding 11th-hour gamesmanship that had threatened to upend a deal 13 years in the making. 

The two-year, $60 billion budget also includes tax cuts, raises for most state employees, and a major expansion of private school vouchers, among other Republican priorities. It now needs only a signature from Gov. Roy Cooper (D).

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