Governor Roy Cooper has lost a key ally in his attempt to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
The Carolina Journal reports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has sided with Senate President Pro tempore Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore in a federal lawsuit to block Cooper’s attempt to expand Medicaid.
Cooper petitioned the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for expansion in the waning days of the administration of President Barack Obama. Berger and Moore responded with a lawsuit to block the expansion and on January 14, U.S. District court judge Louise Flanagan issued a 14-day stay.
Another obstacle to Cooper's expansion when the new administration of Donald Trump froze new or un-implemented regulations, rules and rulings in addition to to executive order which many see as the first step in repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Those actions may have been on Flanagan's mind when she canceled a hearing on January 28 and granted a 60-day injunction, a request Berger and Moore requested "to allow time for incoming officials in the new administration to evaluate the issues in this case.”
Cooper's administration opposed the injunction arguing Medicaid expansion is an executive action and that Berger and Moore don't have the authority to sue on behalf of the General Assembly.