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Federal Government
Republican Congressmen Ask Feds To Deny North Carolina Medicaid Expansion PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 10 January 2017 12:52
Nine Republican Congress members are asking the federal government to reject a request by Democratic Governor Roy Cooper to expand Medicaid eligibility in North Carolina under the Affordable Care Act. Cooper amended a Medicaid reform waiver filed on June 1 by former Governor Pat McCrory
The only House Republican not to sign the letter obtained by the Winston Salem Journal was Rep. Walter Jones. 
The congressional letter was sent to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 
“Regardless of the legality of Gov. Cooper’s proposal, approving this request in the final days of President Obama’s administration, when President-elect (Donald) Trump won overwhelmingly on a platform of repealing and replacing Obamacare, would be a slap in the face to North Carolina voters,” said Rep. Robert Pittenger (9th).
Medicaid covers nearly 2 million North Carolina citizens at the cost of $14 billion annually. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 January 2017 12:54
Governor Cooper Tells Feds He Wants To Expand Medicaid PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Saturday, 07 January 2017 08:40
Governor Roy Cooper is seeking federal approval that would allow the state to cover more uninsured North Carolinians through Medicaid.
Cooper, who has called for broader health care coverage by expanding Medicaid, sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in Washington. If CMS approves a change, if local matching money can be secured, and if state eligibility requirements are changed, then more than a half-million North Carolinians could receive health care beginning in January 2018.
“This is North Carolina common sense,” Cooper said. “We can receive between $3 billion and $4 billion to pay for care that hospitals and other providers now give away. That will create jobs, bolster our hospitals, could save some rural hospitals and work toward more stable private insurance premiums.”
The NC Hospital Association says the state’s hospitals provide about $1 billion in care annually to residents who cannot pay for it. Hospitals would receive a significant share of additional Medicaid dollars that would come back to the state under Cooper’s plan. Cooper believes the contributions can be paid through a combination of savings in existing state expenditures due to the new federal funding and a local matching contribution. Hospitals would contribute a 5% local match that CMS requires. Depending on how many additional residents enroll in the expanded program, the hospitals’ contribution could be between $100 million and $150 million in the first year.
The Cooper Administration says that a 2013 state law that prohibits the governor from seeking to provide health care for low-income North Carolinians does not apply to this draft plan.
“Right now, North Carolina tax dollars are going to Washington, where they are being redistributed to states that have expanded Medicaid,” Cooper said. To date, 31 states and Washington DC have expanded coverage through Medicaid; in 2016 these states received more than $70 billion in federal funds. “Why should North Carolinians pay for Medicaid expansion in states like New Jersey, Ohio and Indiana when we don’t even expand it to our own people?”
The state will accept comments for 10 days on North Carolina’s notice of intent to amend its Medicaid plan. The Cooper Administration then will file a State Plan Amendment with CMS.
Links to the documents filed today are available on the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website under Alternative Benefit State Plan Amendments (Medicaid expansion).
Last Updated on Saturday, 07 January 2017 08:42
US 70 Bypass Given OK By Federal Highway Administration PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 16 December 2016 16:14
Raleigh, N.C. - Governor Pat McCrory announced today that the Federal Highway Administration has issued its approval for a new bypass on the southwest side of Havelock and U.S. 70. The Record of Decision is the last environmental hurdle for the project. The N.C. Department of Transportation can now award a contract for design and construction.
“This decision is welcome and wonderful news for the residents and visitors of eastern North Carolina,” Governor Pat McCrory said. “The Havelock Bypass will significantly improve traffic and freight movement along the U.S. 70 Corridor – a major connection from the Morehead City Port to Raleigh.”
The document identifies the Havelock Bypass as the recommended design option for construction. The highway will run from north of the Havelock city limit and extend south to approximately 10 miles north of the Craven-Carteret county line.
This design alternative was presented at an open house held by transportation officials at the Havelock Tourist Center in August 2015. Two months later, the Federal Highway Administration approved the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project.
“Connectivity is vital to this region’s future,” said Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson. “The faster we can move people and freight from commercial and industrial centers such as the Global TransPark in Kinston to sea ports and airports, the better we will meet the needs of eastern North Carolina’s growing population.”
The route selected for the Havelock Bypass minimizes impacts on the Croatan National Forest and the City of Havelock, safeguarding both the human and natural environment while improving operations on the U.S. 70 corridor and facilitating greater connectivity in eastern North Carolina.
The 10.3-mile U.S. 70 Havelock Bypass will be a four-lane divided freeway with a 46-foot median and design speeds of 70 mph. Construction on the $221 million bypass is slated to begin in winter 2017 and end in 2021.
This federal approval brings the state one step closer to fulfilling Governor McCrory’s 25-year Vision for Transportation by improving the state’s infrastructure to better connect people to jobs, education, healthcare and recreation.
Last Updated on Friday, 16 December 2016 16:20
Federal Approval Clears Way For NC 12 Bridge PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 16 December 2016 15:08
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued final approval to move forward with construction of a new permanent bridge for N.C. 12 in northern Rodanthe on Thursday. The Record of Decision is the last environmental document for the project, allowing the N.C. Department of Transportation to award a contract for design and construction.
"I’m pleased that we are now able to move forward with construction of this critical highway connection that will provide a long-term solution for the residents and visitors of the Outer Banks," Governor Pat McCrory said. "This new bridge will eliminate travel disruptions caused by beach erosion and storm breaches that have resulted in access issues at one of the most vulnerable sections of N.C. 12 for years."
The Record of Decision document identifies the Bridge on New Location (2014B alignment) as the alternative NCDOT will build. The new 2.4-mile-long bridge, known as a “jug handle,” will extend from the southern end of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge over the Pamlico Sound into Rodanthe. This alternative was presented as the preferred alternative in the May 2016 Revised Environmental Assessment and at public hearings in June. Responses to public and resource agency comments received at and following the public hearings are included in the Record of Decision.
This design minimizes impacts to the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, the ocean shoreline and the community of Rodanthe, while maintaining safe and reliable access for area residents and visitors.
“Along with the long-anticipated Bonner Bridge Replacement project, this marks the second major milestone for these communities under Governor McCrory’s leadership this year,” State Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson said. "Greater access to jobs, health care, education and recreation for North Carolinians is a key part of the governor's 25-Year Vision for Transportation."
The project will be built using the design-build method, which allows the department to contract a team that consists of both designers and a contractor to design and construct the project. Projects can be let sooner and completed faster using this approach. Based on the severity of conditions in the area, the agency has been working through the design-build selection process and has narrowed down the prospective design-build teams for the project. NCDOT anticipates opening bids in about a week.
Traffic will be maintained on N.C. 12, which is a vital link for this region, while the new bridge is being built. Once construction is complete, the existing roadway in the refuge would be removed the land will be returned to the refuge. In Rodanthe, the existing N.C. 12 roadway will remain to provide access to private properties.
Last Updated on Friday, 16 December 2016 15:12

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