The North Carolina Senate has tentatively passed big changes to Medicaid and sales tax distributions. Senate leaders are calling the bills compromises, but there are still differences to work out with the House.
On Medicaid, Senate leaders favor giving insurance companies more responsibility for managing the government health care program. The House and Governor Pat McCrory would rather give that authority to groups of doctors and hospitals. So the Senate is advancing a bill that allows both insurance companies and groups of doctors and hospitals to take more control.
Another difference on Medicaid is whether it will stay within the state Department of Health and Human Services. The Senate wants to create a new department. Governor McCrory has opposed that.
On sales tax, the Senate wants to change the formula so rural counties get a much bigger piece of the pie. Currently, most local sales tax revenue stays in the county where the sale happened. The Senate wants more of that money distributed statewide, which would mean Mecklenburg and other large counties would lose revenue. Governor McCrory has previously spoken against that change, too.