Guest Opinion: Moore on Medicaid expansion, ACC incentives

Published 7:05 pm Monday, September 26, 2022

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By Colin Campbell

House Speaker Tim Moore has a more favorable view than his Senate counterpart on the N.C. Healthcare Association’s compromise offer on Certificate of Need regulations and Medicaid expansion.

“I think there’s some merit to the offer they’ve made and the positions they’ve taken, and I understand that there have been conversations since then,” Moore told me after Thursday’s no-vote House session. “My goal is to see that the various stakeholders from patient advocates, hospitals, physicians, insurance companies – you name it – all are having a very frank and honest conversation about where we need to be on these issues.”

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House leaders, he said, would then need to review whatever compromise those groups reach. While Gov. Roy Cooper and Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley wanted a vote this month, Moore said action is unlikely before December.

“I think that’s the most achievable timeline at this point,” he said. “If things lined up and magically worked out, I’m certainly open to something in November, but I would anticipate realistically December.”

Moore is the latest legislative leader to take media questions during this sleepy week of no-vote legislative sessions (we talked to top Democrats on Wednesday and Senate leader Phil Berger on Tuesday). Among other highlights from my conversation with Moore on Thursday:

Student loan forgiveness: While Cooper and legislative Democrats have called for immediate action to exempt loan forgiveness from state income taxes, Moore said his caucus hasn’t discussed it yet.

“Any tax changes would be next year” when he wants to look at broader “tax relief,” he said. Like most Republicans, he’s critical of the Biden administration’s action on student loans, arguing that it’s unfair to people who didn’t take out loans or already paid them back.

Redistricting: Moore had previously suggested a redistricting session in December, but with the U.S. Supreme Court set to weigh in on the matter in the coming months, he’s less certain now when and how lawmakers could return to drawing maps.

“I kind of want to see where that (case) goes, what the timeline is,” he said. “It’s just too fluid right now.”

The ACC’s headquarters move to Charlotte: Moore said he’s pleased with how the $15 million incentive in the latest state budget kept the sports conference and key championship events in North Carolina.

He said lawmakers met with ACC officials, who told them Florida was offering them incentives to move the headquarters to Orlando. They said that “had we not done anything, they would have felt like they needed to go to Florida,” Moore said. “We felt like it was a good move, that it was justified, and that with the additional events that will be coming to the state as a part of that, that’s a net positive for the taxpayers of the state.”

Colin Campbell is editor of the North Carolina Tribune, a daily newsletter that covers the intersection of business and state politics.