Cooper last week sent a letter to federal officials "alerting them of his intention to expand Medicaid, which currently covers 1.9 million North Carolinians and costs $14 billion a year," reports McClatchy Newspapers. "Two-thirds of the expense is paid for by the federal government."
North Carolina Republicans in the House and state legislature responded with "a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andrew Slavitt, urging him to reject Cooper’s expansion plan," McClatchy reports. They "said Cooper’s move was illegal because a 2013 state law prevented the governor from seeking expanded Medicaid coverage without the state legislature’s support." They wrote: “Any governor of North Carolina does not have the legal authority to submit a Medicaid expansion plan to CMS. Such actions would commit the state to approximately $600 million in new spending each year."