RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — On Thursday, the House Health Committee will hear the “Rural Healthcare Access and Savings Plan”, which is the House’s alternative response to the Senate bill that would expand Medicaid, House Speaker Tim Moore said.

Senate Bill 408, the “Rural Healthcare Access and Savings Plan”, will create a legislative Medicaid Rate Modernization and Savings Oversight Committee and increase access to healthcare in rural areas, according to an announcement from House Speaker Tim Moore’s office.

Some of the benefits to the State include:

  • $1.5 billion in federal Medicaid receipts from the ARPA enhancement that will enable the State to re-direct General Fund dollars to other priorities. $1 billion of this total would be used to address substance abuse and mental health;
  • $3.1 billion in additional HASP reimbursements to support hospitals without spending additional General Fund dollars;
  • Up to $60 million in additional gross premiums tax from the HASP reimbursements would go into the General Fund;
  • An additional $4.5-5 billion annually in federal Medicaid receipts to support the new eligibility category.

If the Oversight Committee approves the plan, the General Assembly will vote on or after Dec. 16.

North Carolina is one of 12 states that has not expanded Medicaid since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Around 600,000 low-income people would qualify for coverage under Medicaid if the bill passes.

The federal government pays 90 percent of the cost for states to expand Medicaid.

Additionally, Senator Phil Berger released a statement about the proposal of the bill.

“So, the House has gone from ‘No,’ to ‘Let’s study it again.’ Remember, we authorized a study in last year’s budget. It is past time for action. The House should pass the Senate version of House Bill 149, or we should agree to incorporate it into the budget.”

In May, CBS 17’s Michael Hyland reported that Berger is now convinced the federal government will pay its fair share for Medicaid.

“We need coverage in North Carolina for the working poor. Second, there is no fiscal risk to the state budget moving forward with this proposal. And, finally, our Medicaid program over the past years has been reformed and transformed,” he said in May