Healthcare Legislation

This new page of the SEARCH website has been created to communicate information about proposed legislation in the 2019-2020 Session of the NC General Assembly and to post articles related to those proposed bills.  Articles about hospital closures will be included on this page, because having sufficient funding to keep hospitals open is often closely tied to whether or not a state has expanded who is covered by Medicaid.

Note, SEARCH’s site will not necessarily be able to remain totally up to date on the status of a given bill.  To see current status of a given bill please go to this site and use the search features as shown at the top right in the image below.  If you know the bill’s number, such as House Bill 5, just type H5 in the “Bill #” field and hit go.

NCLEG site search fields

HOUSE BILLS

The House Bills (HB) listed below are listed in Bill number order, and the link displays the Short Title as shown on the NC Legislature website.  The link will take you to the text of the bill.

  • HB 5 Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap
    • House Bill 5, “Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap”, was originally filed on January 30, 2019 by the following Primary Sponsors: Representatives Adcock, Cunningham, Insko, Farmer-Butterfield.   There were 51 other sponsors.  Four of the sponsors represent districts in western NC.
    • The NC Senate proposed the same bill as Senate Bill 3.
    • It is considered a “clean” Medicaid expansion bill, meaning that there are no additional requirements put on future individual recipients other than adjusted gross income, age, and not being currently enrolled in specific other benefits programs.
    • As of April 9, 2019, the last change in status of this bill occurred on January 31, 2019.
  • HB 185 – The SAVE Act
      • House Bill 185, “The SAVE Act”, was originally filed on February 26, 2019, by the following Primary Sponsors: Dobson, Lambeth, Stevens, Adcock.  There were 43 additional sponsors.  Seven of the sponsors represent districts in western North Carolina.
      • This bills is bipartisan and there’s a corresponding bill in the Senate, SB 143.
      • The full title of the bill is “An Act to deliver Safe, Accessible, Value directed and Excellent health care throughout North Carolina by modernizing nursing regulations.”
      • As of April 10, 2019, there has been no change in the status of this bill since February 27, 2019.
      • See an article about this new bill below in NC Nurses Association section dated 2019.02.26 and entitled “NC Legislators introduce bipartisan SAVE act to increase access to quality healthcare.”
  • HB 655v0 NC Health Care for Working Families
    • Six years after the state legislature rejected Medicaid expansion and four years after a Republican plan for adding hundreds of thousands of low income workers to insurance rolls was introduced, a bill finally passes committee.”  Read the full text of this North Carolina Health News article about the vote in the NC House on 9/18/2019 at this link.
    • On 7/9/2019 the House Health Committee voted 25 to 6 to pass HB 655 after about an hour or presentations and debate.  But when they realized there were not going to be enough votes to pass it on the House floor with all the members it has stalled again.  A full article on the status is available here.
    • See an article about this new bill below in NC Policy Watch section dated 2019.04.09 and entitled “GOP rolls out proposal to close health coverage gap, just don’t call it “Medicaid expansion.”
    • As of April 15, 2019 there has been no change in the status of this bill since April 10, 2019.
    • House Bill 655, “NC Health Care for Working Families, was originally filed on April 9, 2019, with the following Primary Sponsors:  Representatives Lambeth, Murphy, Dobson, and White.  These are the same Representatives that were the primary sponsors of the Carolina Cares bill in the 2017-2018 Session. There are 22 other sponsors.  Four of these sponsors represent districts in western NC.

SENATE BILLS 

The Senate Bills (SB) listed below are listed in Bill number order, and the link displays the Short Title as shown on the NC Legislature website.  The link will take you to the text of the bill.

  • SB 3 Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap
    • Senate Bill 3, “Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap”, was originally filed on January 30, 2019 by the following Primary Sponsors:  Senators Clark, Blue, and Robinson.  There were 16 other sponsors.  One of the sponsors represents a district in western NC.
    • The NC House proposed the same bill as House Bill 5.
    • It is considered a “clean” Medicaid expansion bill, meaning that there are no additional requirements put on future individual recipients other than adjusted gross income, age, and not being currently enrolled in specific other benefits programs.
    • As of April 9, 2019, the last change in status of this bill occurred on January 31, 2019.
  • Senate Bill 143 – The SAVE Act
    • Senate Bill 143, “The SAVE Act”, was originally filed on February 26, 2019, by the following Primary Sponsors: Hise, Davis.  There were 12 additional sponsors.  Four of the sponsors represent districts in western North Carolina.
    • This bill is bipartisan and there is a corresponding bill in the House, HB 185.
    • The full title of the bill is “An Act to deliver Safe, Accessible, Value directed and Excellent health care throughout North Carolina by modernizing nursing regulations.
    • As of April 10, 2019, there has been no change in the status of this bill since February 27, 2019.
    • See an article about this new bill below in NC Nurses Association section dated 2019.02.26 and entitled “NC Legislators introduce bipartisan SAVE act to increase access to quality healthcare.”

MEDIA COVERAGE

Articles related to healthcare legislation across the nation as well as in North Carolina are listed alphabetically below by media outlet, then chronologically by date.

Asheville Citizen Times

Blue Ridge Public Radio

(The) Daily Yonder

Flow Automotive Companies of Winston-Salem

Kaiser Health News

Mitchell News Journal

NC Child

ncIMPACT

  • 2019.02.28 – The UNC TV show ncIMPACT did a great overview of numerous ways that McDowell County is improving healthcare for their residents.  The full 20 minute show, or 4 shorter videos of separate segments (Healthcare Access, Telemedicine in Schools, Bringing Doctors to Rural Areas, and EMS House Calls) of the show are available at the link below, just be sure to scroll down to “Episode 4 – McDowell County”.

NC Policy Watch

NC Rural Center

The NC Rural Center has created a Legislative Tracker website that keeps up with priorities which they call “Rural Counts: 10 Strategies for Rural North Carolina’s Future”.  Their efforts for 2019 are focused on broadband, healthcare, and entrepreneurship.

Here’s a link to their site, where you can drill down to the status of General Assembly bills that they are tracking: Legislative Tracker

New York Times

Nonprofit Quarterly


North Carolina Community Health Center Association

North Carolina Health News

North Carolina Justice Center

North Carolina Nurses Association

North Carolina Policy Watch

NPR

PBS 

Politics NC

Reflector

Sampson Independent

StarNews Online

US News & World Report

Washington Post

Yancey Common Times Journal