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Legislative Session 2017: 

Weekly Update: The News Edition

October 6, 2017


North Carolina Updates:

The North Carolina General Assembly held it’s second extended regular session this week. Several significant pieces of legislation we considered and voted on during the three days of session.

Adjournment and Coming Back in January 2018

The North Carolina legislature will continue its 2017-2018 regular session through October 17, 2017. They will then adjourn and return to Raleigh on January 10, 2018. There will be no votes on the calendar until October 17th. The legislature will operate with a skeleton session until then. But there is still a lot on the upcoming calendar including joint oversight committee meetings on Medicaid and HHS.

Veto Override:

The following bills, vetoed by Governor Cooper, were overridden this week.

H56: Amend Environmental Laws
S16: Business Regulatory Reform Act 2017

 

Bills That Moved During Session:

S582 Budget and Agency Technical Corrections:

S582 included a needed adjustment for the NC ABLE Act to allow the parent of an eligible individual to sign the application to open an ABLE account and to administer the account on behalf of the designated beneficiary. The change addresses circumstances where an adult eligible individual does not have the intellectual capacity to open or administer an ABLE account and does not have a court-appointed guardian or the capacity to appoint an agent with power of attorney to do so on his/her behalf.

This legislation did pass the House and Senate and is now on the Governor’s desk. The bill also included many other technical and budget adjustments, some of which were controversial. The Governor may veto this legislation and if that happens the ABLE fix will be delayed as we wait for an override vote in the legislature.

 

Oversight Committee Schedule:

The legislative interim is now officially in full swing! On Tuesday, October 10th the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services will meet at 9:00AM and then at 1:00 PM the Joint Legislative Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice will meet. At this time no agenda has been posted for either of these meetings. Agendas should be posted by the day of the meetings and can be found on the committee websites. Both meetings will be held in room 643 of the legislative office building or you can listen on line.

 

MCAC Meeting – Medical Care Advisory Committee:
MCAC met on September 22nd and key on its agenda was a presentation by Jay Ludlam, Assistance Secretary for Medicaid Transformation, updating the DHHS/DMH actions on moving the state to a managed care system. This presentation included a more comprehensive and detailed outline of the timeline for Medicaid transformation and steps for moving forward. Included in this power point is details for the RFI process and a list of subcommittees. A behavioral health subcommittee will be added to the list. 

 

New Audit of Cardinal Innovations Released:

On October 2, 2017 DHHS released an internal audit of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions conducted by the Office of Internal Auditor. This audit is a follow up to the State Auditor’s Performance Audit from May 2017. The October 2nd audit focused on severance packages for key members of the Cardinal executive team and also on the salary range for LME/MCO executives.

Press Release: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/news/press-releases/dhhs-statement-audit-cardinal-innovations-healthcare-solutions

News Stories regarding audit:

Charlotte Observer http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/article176813571.html
NC Health News: https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2017/10/03/audit_finds_high_salaries_generous_benefits_cardinal_executives/

 

Federal Updates:

House of Representatives Budget:

The Associated Press: House GOP Eyes Budget Passage That Is Key To Tax Debate
Republicans are focused on cutting taxes instead of deficits as they look to power a $4.1 billion budget plan through the House on Thursday. The 2018 House GOP budget promises deep cuts to social programs and Cabinet agency budgets but its chief purpose is to set the stage for action later this year on a comprehensive Republican overhaul of the U.S. tax code. The tax overhaul is the party’s top political priority as well as a longtime policy dream of key leaders like Speaker Paul Ryan. The plan calls for more than $5 trillion in spending cuts over the coming decade, including a plan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like program for future retirees, slash Medicaid by about $1 trillion over the coming decade, and repeal the “Obamacare” health law. (Taylor, 10/5)

Executive Orders:

The Hill reporting that “President Trump will sign an executive order next week aimed at rolling back health insurance regulations put in place by former President Obama in an effort to undo his predecessor's signature health-care law, according to The Wall Street Journal.”

CHIP Funding Update:
According to Healthcare DIVE, the delay in reauthorization of CHIP  “quickly could especially be an issue for the three states (Arizona, Minnesota and North Carolina) and the District of Columbia, which are expected to run out of CHIP money by the end of the year.”More on reauthorization delay from Pew Trust: States Scramble To Overcome Congress Failure to Move on CHIP.

Action Alert DREDF:

American’s with Disabilities Law Under Attack: Action Alert from DREDF


LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

NC General Assembly; Who Represents Me?

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LEGISLATIVE UPDATES FROM JULIA ADAMS-SCHRURICH