Dispatch from Brooks Pierce Capital: Updates from the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor’s Office – June 2022 | Brooks Pierce

This week, the Senate passed some notable bills while both chambers continued their work on the budget bill behind closed doors.

Senate Health Care Bill

The Senate this week passed a health care bill (H 149) that would expand Medicaid insurance coverage, which has been a longtime priority of Governor Roy Cooper, and change a number of other health care laws and regulations.

The law project :

  • Expand Medicaid coverage for adults ages 18-64 with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level who meet certain work requirements. The proposal would expand coverage to about 500,000 to 600,000 people in addition to North Carolina’s 2.7 million currently covered by Medicaid. The federal government pays 90% of Medicaid and North Carolina’s 10% share would be paid for through hospital assessment and other funds;
  • Reduce the number of facilities and equipment purchased by hospitals and other medical care providers subject to certificates of need laws;
  • Expand scope of practice to allow some nurses to work without formal physician supervision;
  • Require health insurers to cover more telehealth services; and
  • Require certain in-network health care facilities to notify clients when out-of-network providers are required to provide certain types of care.

The bill is then introduced in the House. It is not certain that this chamber will examine it during the session this summer.

Medical Marijuana

The Senate adopted this week at second reading a bill (S711) by a margin of 35 to 10 that would allow the use of marijuana for certain medical conditions. Third and final reading approval is expected early next week. It would then be returned to the House for consideration.

Among other things, the bill would allow use by people with a certain “debilitating medical condition” for which a physician provides written certification. The Department of Health and Human Services would approve patient use and a new Medical Cannabis Production Commission would license suppliers on the recommendation of the Department.

State finance bill

Lawmakers continue to work on a budget bill for fiscal year 23, which begins July 1. It would modify the biennial budget (SL 2021-180) signed into law in November 2021, which covered fiscal years 22 and 23. It appears that the bill will surface in the form of a conference committee report that was agreed to in advance by both houses and cannot not be modified. Some legislative leaders have indicated that the bill could surface as early as the week of June 12.

Julio V. Miller