NC’s New Dem Governor Wants To Defy GOP Lawmakers And Expand Medicaid

Chuck Burton/AP

Just a few days after taking office, Democratic North Carolina Gov. Rory Cooper on Wednesday said that he will seek to expand Medicaid even though a 2013 state law bars him from doing so, the News and Observer reported.

While speaking at an economic forum in Durham, Cooper said he would file a request for the federal government to change the state’s Medicaid plan by Friday, according to the News and Observer.

“It is common sense for North Carolina to keep its options open as we go into this new health care arena under a Trump presidency,” Cooper said, according to the Triangle Business Journal. “I believe that North Carolina needs to move forward with this plan, but in order for it to be successful, we have to have some cooperation – and, specifically, we have to make sure that North Carolina meets its match.”

Cooper plans to push for Medicaid expansion despite a law passed by a Republican-led legislature and enacted in 2013 that bars the governor from expanding the program in the state. He said Wednesday that law infringes on “core executive functions” and said he hoped the legislature would support his effort to expand Medicaid.

State Senate Republicans quickly responded on Twitter, reminding Cooper about the 2013 law: