North Carolina legislators make deal on Medicaid expansion

State legislators in North Carolina have reached a deal on Medicaid expansion, they announced on Thursday.

The agreement likely won't see a vote until the end of this month, according to a report from the Associated Press, but would pave the way for the state to offer Medicaid coverage to the expansion population beginning in January. A push to expand Medicaid gained momentum last year but stalled as legislators in both chambers hammered out differences.

North Carolina is one of 11 states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

“This is something that we can all be very proud of,” House Speaker Tim Moore said at a press conference, according to the AP.

As part of the agreement, North Carolina state senators secured changes to certificate of need laws, which require regulators to approve a slew of initiatives for hospitals, the AP reported. A provision that would allow advanced practices nurses to care for patients without supervision from a physician was removed from the plan.

Senate leader Phil Berger said at the press conference that while there are "still some things that need to be done," he's "very comfortable" with the deal, the AP reported.

In a statement, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper praised the state legislators for working out an agreement that would allow expansion to move forward.

"An agreement by legislative leaders to expand Medicaid in North Carolina is a monumental step that will save lives and I commend the hard work that got us here," Cooper said. "Since we all agree this is the right thing to do, we should make it effective now to make sure we leverage the money that will save our rural hospitals and invest in mental health. I look forward to reviewing the details of the bill."