NC Senate OKs Bill To Block Expanded Medicaid

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The North Carolina state Senate has given its initial OK to legislation that would block expansion of Medicaid under the health care overhaul and let the federal government build the state's health insurance exchange.

Republicans gave tentative approval to the bill Monday night in a party-line, 31-17 vote despite concerns from the administration of new GOP Gov. Pat McCrory.

His top advocate at the General Assembly wrote to senators asking for additional time to examine the financial impact of the bill. Fred Steen said the governor agrees with the concepts in the measure against expansion and the state's involvement in an exchange.

A final Senate vote is expected Tuesday.

Democrats voting no say rejecting the Medicaid expansion will deny needed insurance coverage to hundreds of thousands of residents.