Medicaid expansion

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The U.S. Justice Department argues the fight over Governor Roy Cooper's proposed Medicaid expansion does not belong in federal court. Its attorneys and Cooper's are asking a federal judge to lift her temporary restraining order on the expansion plans.

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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.

The uninsured rate for working-age adults has declined in every single state since 2013, according to the Commonwealth Fund. The largest declines were in states that expanded Medicaid to cover low-income adults. Some of those states, including Kentucky and West Virginia, cut their uninsured rate in half in two years.

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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.

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.

North Carolina leaders are still deciding whether they'll expand Medicaid to cover almost 680,000 more uninsured adults. The expansion became an optional part of President Obama's health care law because of a Supreme Court ruling.

A major goal of the Affordable Care Act is to give every American access to health insurance. For low-income people, the Medicaid expansion is a huge part of that.