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The Daily Tar Heel

Gov. Roy Cooper signs Medicaid expansion bill into law after years of stalemate

Gov. Roy Cooper announced Friday that NC's public schools would continue remote instruction through the end of the school year, following an announcement that he would be extending the state's stay-at-home order through May 8.

On Monday afternoon, Governor Roy Cooper signed House Bill 76 into law, expanding Medicaid for North Carolinians.

"We have a Medicaid expansion bill," Cooper said as he signed the bill on the lawn of the Governor's Mansion.

State legislative leaders from both parties were in attendance, including N.C. Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Guilford, Rockingham) and state House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland, Rutherford). North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley was also at the event.

“These changes will make North Carolina more attractive for providers, healthcare facilities and hospitals willing to do business and to compete here in North Carolina,” Berger said in a speech at the signing. 

Cooper called this Medicaid expansion "one of the most important pieces of legislation of our lifetime" in a tweet on Monday.

"The strength of our communities depends on the health of our people," Cooper said in another tweet. "Today is a historic step. When this law takes effect, it will make health care accessible for more than 600,000 North Carolinians, including people struggling with mental illness, parents and veterans."

The bill passed in both chambers of the state legislature with large bipartisan majorities. Earlier this month, Moore and Berger announced they had come to an agreement on Medicaid expansion.

“This is an historic step forward to increase access to healthcare for our rural communities," Moore said in a statement on March 23.

Cooper noted the importance of signing the bill into law after years of debate and conflict over Medicaid in N.C. 

"I’m grateful for those who’ve spent years fighting for this," he said in a tweet. "Child welfare advocates, health care workers, veterans groups, hospitals, people of faith, Care 4 Carolina and the nonprofit groups, businesses, sheriffs and local elected officials from both parties."

Now that Cooper has signed H.B. 76 into law, there are only 10 states across the nation that haven't adopted the expansion. 


@DTHCityState | 

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Emmy Martin

Emmy Martin is the 2023-24 editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel. She has previously served as the DTH's city & state editor and summer managing editor. Emmy is a junior pursuing a double major in journalism and media and information science.