RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The N.C. House of Representatives gave preliminary approval Wednesday to expanding Medicaid coverage.
The measure passed by a margin of 96 to 23. A final vote is scheduled for Thursday.
The bill would provide health coverage to about 600,000 North Carolinians. Most would be working adults who make too much money to qualify for coverage but can’t afford private insurance.
The expansion means billions of dollars in federal funding for North Carolina.
The bill doesn’t include regulatory changes that Senate Republicans want to address.
“I don’t particularly like coupling it with the expansion bill because they’re totally unrelated. But, if that’s what it takes to get several things accomplished, then I think we go ahead and have that discussion,” Rep. Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth County) said.
Sen. Jim Burgin (R-Harnett County) liked the progress that is being made.
“I think this is a really good sign. We’re excited about it. I want them to get it out so we can all sit down and start talking about it,” Burgin said.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is urging lawmakers to find a compromise in the next few weeks.
In April, people who qualified for Medicaid because of the COVID-19 pandemic will begin to lose coverage.