Governor Pat McCrory said Tuesday morning that North Carolina is not ready to participate in two major parts of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. At least for now, the state will not expand Medicaid or be involved in running a health insurance exchange.
Expanding Medicaid would've meant about 680,000 low-income North Carolinians would get health insurance. The federal government would've picked up almost all of the tab. But the Supreme Court ruled that part of Obamacare was optional.
Tuesday morning, Governor McCrory announced North Carolina will opt out. He says expanding Medicaid is too big a risk right now because a recent audit showed the state has been mismanaging Medicaid funds. McCrory says the state needs to fix those problems first.
A part of the law that the state can't opt out of is the health insurance exchange. It's supposed to be an online shop where people can compare and buy health insurance. States don't have to run it themselves: they can let the federal government control it, they can partner with the federal government, or they can run it on their own.
McCrory has decided to go with the federal-only option. But he's leaving the door open to changing his mind on both provisions.