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By EMERY P. DALESIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s Medicaid agency is preparing to slash services and payments beyond the nearly $360 million cut that state budget writers ordered this year.

The Department of Health and Human Services on Friday outlined extra cuts it expects it will be forced to make because several of the Legislature’s instructions require federal approval, which could take months.

That means the state will have to find another $32 million to $118 million in savings in the health care plan for poor children, older adults, and the disabled.

Lawmakers decided to cut $360 million from state Medicaid payments this year.

Because the federal government pays for $2 of Medicaid services for every $1 of state spending, this year’s total cuts are $1 billion. North Carolina’s Medicaid program costs nearly $13 billion.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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