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Moss to flip on N.C. Medicaid expansion

RALEIGH — Rep. Ben Moss has reportedly changed his mind on expanding Medicaid.

Moss, R-Richmond, said in a press release Wednesday that he will be saying “no” when the Medicaid expansion bill, H.B. 76, comes back up for a vote.

Legislative records show Moss voted for the bill on its second reading when it passed 96-23, however he had an excused absence on the third reading Feb. 15.

“I had originally voted for Medicaid Expansion because I care about healthcare access in rural and underserved communities across the state,” said Moss. “Now having had more time to review the proposal and solicit feedback from my constituents, I’ve found that this proposal will have the opposite effect in the long-run, and it is bad news for my district, our state, and our nation.”

The bill has bi-partisan support, even that of House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, and Majority Leader John Bell, R-Wayne. It is also supported by Democrats, including Gov. Roy Cooper.

Former state senator Gene McLaurin, who heads the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, recently penned an op-ed saying expansion would benefit the state’s economy.

Click here to read McLaurin’s op-ed.

“The heavy hand of government is not able to supplant the free market approach to keeping health care affordable for all,” Moss continued. “I remain committed to ensuring quality healthcare access, and that’s why I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the Save ACT and full repeal of CON.”

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CON refers to the state’s certificate of need laws, which some health professionals have opposed for years.

In a 2022 editorial, the Wilson Times said that North Carolina is one of 35 states with certificate of need laws “that prevent health care facilities from setting up shop or adding equipment and services unless they obtain a government permission slip.”

Moss said that the Medicaid Expansion bill is “shortsighted,” costly, and doesn’t address the root of the problem.

According to his office, states that have already have expanded Medicaid have seen costs exceed original estimates by 76%.

“Medicaid expansion is a budget black hole that would crowd out important spending,” said Moss, “Medicaid already takes up a large portion of North Carolina’s budget, at about $4 billion and growing. When the federal government gets hit with higher-than-expected Medicaid costs, they have the ability to print more money and add to the growing national debt. North Carolina is required to have a balanced budget, so any higher costs means either higher taxes or spending cuts elsewhere.”

H.B. 76 was sent to the Senate Rules Committee on March 8, records show.