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North Carolinians who want the  legislature to expand Medicaid to cover hundreds of thousands of additional adults are gathering across the state this evening.  BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.   

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Promoting what he calls North Carolina's "chance for a bold future," Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday formally unveiled his budget proposal, which includes expanding Medicaid, raising teacher pay, borrowing for school buildings and helping revive rural communities.

Lilly Knoepp

 Access to healthcare can be difficult all over Western North Carolina - but that’s especially true in the rural parts of the region, where hospitals are far apart and average incomes are lower than in Asheville.

One of the few free clinics in Western North Carolina is located in Bryson City.

Lilly Knoepp

 More than 2 million people in North Carolina will be impacted when changes to the state’s Medicaid program take effect.


At the end of last year, North Carolina finalized terms to move to a managed-care system for Medicaid in the state. The first regions of North Carolina where those changes will be rolled out will be announced at the beginning of February says Deputy Secretary for North Carolina Medicaid Dave Richards.


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Last year, more than half a million North Carolina residents signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.  With less than two weeks left in the 2019 open enrollment period, there is concern that those numbers will be down.  BPR’s Helen Chickering checked in with Pisgah Legal Services managing attorney Jackie Kiger . 

North Carolina is looking for insurance companies as it privatizes its Medicaid system. The program that covers 2.2 million poor and disabled North Carolinians is undergoing a massive overhaul, but patients won’t see any changes until next year.

Governor Roy Cooper's administration is proposing an overhauled Medicaid program that would combine behavioral health and primary health care.  

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate unveiled its plan to replace Obamacare.

A key component of the bill deals with Medicaid, the federal program to provide health insurance to the poor and disabled.

Hoarding $70 million in Medicaid money that should be spent on patients while spending lavishly on CEO pay and luxury board retreats. These are just some of the findings laid out in a state audit of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare. The company says the spending is justified.

Davin Eldridge

Angel Medical Center’s board of directors  made it official – later this year, the far-western North Carolina hospital will no longer deliver babies.

This story may sound familiar.

The scene: Raleigh.

The plot: A lawmaker introduces a plan to expand Medicaid, the federal insurance program for the poor and disabled.

This has been done a number of times before. And each time has gone nowhere. But this time there's a twist.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has issued a policy brief recommending a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and cuts to Medicaid spending, a move that worries child advocacy organizations.

Governor Roy Cooper's effort to expand North Carolina's Medicaid program is on hold for at least two weeks, following a federal judge's order over the weekend. 

The future of the Affordable Care Act dominated the news Wednesday. While Democrats and Republicans huddled on Capitol Hill to discuss the future of the law, here in North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced his plan to expand Medicaid in the state.

Just as a new Republican-led Congress on Capitol Hill is discussing how to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, North Carolina's newly elected governor pledged to implement portions of the ACA that had been left behind in this state.

Doctors in North Carolina are feeling the effects of certain national health care trends but bucking others. The Physicians Foundation's 2016 survey shows high burnout but lower hospital consolidation in North Carolina.

Cooper Critical of McCrory in WNC Swing

Sep 18, 2016
Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

North Carolina Gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper paid a visit to western North Carolina on Saturday.  The Democratic Attorney General addressed dozens of Democrats at the Fairview home of state Rep. John Ager in what was billed as a "candidates meet and greet."  WCQS’s Jeremy Loeb was there and has this report.

The Obama administration is touting a new argument for why states like North Carolina should expand Medicaid. Federal researchers found in states that already have, the premiums people pay on the Obamacare exchanges are lower.

NC Child

A new study from NC Child finds North Carolina's slowed progress in combating infant mortality could be a result of a lack of insurance for women.  One in five women across the state lack health insurance, a problem exacerbated by the so-called "Medicaid gap."  That's the coverage gap people fall into who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough for tax credits on the Affordable Care Act

Check out this interactive map to explore where your county stands on infant mortality rate.

North Carolina’s infant mortality rate is one of the worst in the country—only eight states have worse rates.

North Carolina is overhauling its Medicaid program to try to hold down costs while improving care. Health leaders submitted the plan to the federal government recently after adjusting it based on public feedback.

A new analysis conducted by an economist out of Portland, Oregon and published by the Civitas Institute, a Raleigh-based conservative think tank, finds that federal spending often triggers more spending by state governments.  The findings were highlighted in an editorial published in the News & Observer of Raleigh.  Eric Fruits, the study's l

Cone Health Foundation (

North Carolina's Republican-dominated legislature has so far refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  It's already been noted by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine that not expanding Medicaid is costing around 500,000 state residents coverage.  Now a new report from the Center for Health Policy Re

Medicaid Changes In NC Move Forward

Sep 28, 2015

It will be several years before  North  Carolina’s  new Medicaid management plan takes effect.  Governor Pat McCrory signed House bill 372 into law last week but the federal government must approve the plan.  The feds pay about two-thirds of the cost of the program.  The North Carolina Medical Society, which represents around 12-thousand doctors in the state, lobbied against the bill.  The Vice President and CEO of the Medical Society says his organization will now work to make the new law better for physicians and the nearly 2 million North Carolinians who are covered by Medicaid.  Robert

North Carolina Hospitals Face Medicare Penalities

Aug 18, 2015

Seventy-six (76) North Carolina hospitals face federal Medicare- penalties for having too many discharged patients re-admitted within a month for additional care.   In some cases the fines amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Rose Hoban is with North Carolina Health News.  She told  David Hurand  the penalties are part of the Affordable Care Act and while at a glance may appear to be bad news,  there is some good news in the numbers.

Bob Geary via

Protestors advocating equal protection for gays, immigrants and the uninsured in the wake of last week's U.S. Supreme Court rulings were arrested at a demonstration in the North Carolina Legislative Building.

General Assembly police arrested six demonstrators Wednesday following a larger rally in the rotunda between the House and Senate chambers. The six refused to leave with the crowd of around 40 people after police told them they would be subject to arrest once the building closed at 5 p.m.

In Their Words: Sen. Ralph Hise

May 5, 2015
Jasmin Singh/

WCQS has been speaking with area lawmakers over the past few weeks in an effort to bring you their views, in their words.  You can find links to other conversations at the bottom of this article.  Today we're focusing on Senator Ralph Hise, a Republican of Spruce Pine.  Hise's district spans six counties in western North Carolina: Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, and Yancey.  He took the time out of a busy schedule to speak with us.  Due to that schedule, the conversation unfortunately had to be far shorter than our previous talks with lawmakers, and so this one is more narrow

In Their Words: Rep. Chuck McGrady

Apr 28, 2015
The News & Observer of Raleigh

We’ve been talking with area legislators over the past few weeks.  It’s part of an effort to bring you their views, in their words.  Today the focus is on Representative Chuck McGrady, Republican of Henderson County.  On a day when McGrady was preparing for a busy week known as "crossover" - in which most bills have to pass one chamber and "cross over" in order to be considered still alive this session - he took the time to speak with us about issues ranging from taxes, politics, the environment, social issues, and more.  The full conversation is above.  Below are some parts of the intervie

In Their Words: Rep. Joe Sam Queen

Apr 14, 2015

We’ve been hearing from area lawmakers over the past week.  Many were home last week for their version of spring break and that gave us a chance to speak with many of them.  Today we hear from Joe Sam Queen.  He’s a Democrat representing Haywood, Jackson, and Swain counties in the state House. 

Area Democrats are not backing down on their call for the state to expand Medicaid, something the Republican-led General Assembly has refused to do.   Queen says North Carolinians are already footing the bill.