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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The Legislature has given final approval to a method to close a shortfall in North Carolina’s Medicaid program this year that also contains a provision to slow efforts to privatize medical services for prisoners.

The Senate agreed unanimously Thursday to the House version of a bill that accumulates $206 million from several sources to eliminate the Medicaid funding gap through June 30.

The bill goes to Gov. Bev Perdue.

Perdue’s office did not immediately respond to the bill’s passage. Sen. Pete Brunstetter of Forsyth County says he’s been told the governor is prepared to sign the bill into law even with the prisoner health care language added by the House.

The item would prevent correction officials from contracting or seeking bids to outsource prisoner medical care.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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