Medicaid Gap Won't Close By Rate, Service Cuts

A Republican budget writer has told Gov. Beverly Perdue's administration to avoid broad provider rate cuts and eliminating medical services not required by the federal government to close a projected $139 million shortfall in North Carolina's Medicaid program.

Rep. Nelson Dollar of Cary gave Health and Human Services Secretary Lanier Cansler the advice at Tuesday's legislative oversight committee of Cansler's agency. Dollar said Cansler and lawmakers should work together to find other ways to cut spending through next summer. Dollar said cash reserves also could be used.

Perdue's office has blamed the Republican spending plan for demanding unobtainable reductions within Medicaid, the government health program for 1.5 million North Carolina residents. Republicans argue the problem rests with financial errors during then-Gov. Mike Easley's administration.

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