Bill to close NC Medicaid shortfall passes House

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina legislators are prepared to give the state Medicaid agency access to another $400 million through next month to close a shortfall and repay drug rebates to the federal government.

The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to permit budget director Art Pope to use unspent funds, cost savings and surplus tax collections to cover a projected $283 million shortfall in Medicaid spending this fiscal year. Rep. Nelson Dollar says there's also $118 million to pay off a rebate liability budget-writers shifted previously as a cost-saving measure.

Gov. Pat McCrory's administration announced recently the Medicaid shortfall had more than doubled due to a forecasting error.

Thursday's debate turned into a partisan discussion of who was to blame for repeated shortfalls. The bill now goes to the Senate.

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That the forecasting becomes better.
However, the news today that housing starts have slowed dramatically is not good news for McCrory.
I am hopeful that tax revenues continue coming in, but I am concerned about housing which played a big role in NC's economy during the over heating years. The increase in sales taxes and the slow down in housing could be a one two punch that NC's economy might not thrive under.
I hope I am wrong

Vog

housing starts are down in part due to announced plans by the Feds to include elimination of the home interest deduction as part of the Federal tax plan revisions.

But that is not cast in stone yet, so I wouldn't give that any more credence than anything else.
The real estate lobbyists are a powerful group and I expect some modifications to this.
I am still concerned that applying taxes to lawyers at all stages of home buying - applying taxes to home inspections, and realtor's fees etc will STOP housing for awhile. Losing the federal deduction for interest on top of that will "kill it" completely.
But if that happens revenues estimates by NC are going to be way off.

Vog

the proposal is just that, at this point, a proposal.

But, as long as it is out there as a possibility, many home buyers, other than investors, may shy away from buying.