Credibility Crisis: Cooper Admin Begs for Budget that Cooper Vetoed

Top DHHS official: “We want to see those additional waiver slots” to fund home care for people with disabilities

The reality is the budget funded 1,000 additional waiver slots, but DHHS’s boss vetoed it

Raleigh, N.C. — The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services went public yesterday with their need for additional funds to provide at-home care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Medicaid pays for care for 12,000 people through an “innovation waiver,” but an additional 12,000 are sitting on a waitlist. Medicaid expansion has no impact on this population.

Dave Richard, the deputy secretary for Medicaid, told the press yesterday, “We don’t think it’s acceptable that we have waitlists as long as we have. We want to see those additional waiver slots.”

The General Assembly funded 1,000 additional waiver slots in this year’s budget. But Dave Richard’s boss, Governor Roy Cooper, vetoed it. The only way to fund the slots that the Cooper Administration says it needs is for Senate Democrats to override Governor Cooper’s veto.

Earlier this year, Senators Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth) and Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) said they hoped to eliminate the waitlist over the next several budget cycles. They also said that properly funding care for the IDD population should take precedent over expanding Medicaid to several hundred thousand able-bodied, childless adults.

Bottom line: Governor Cooper’s own administration is begging for the budget that Governor Cooper vetoed. His single-issue ultimatum is harming the people he’s supposed to represent, and harming the credibility of his own staff.

The official Medium account for N.C. Senate Leader Phil Berger’s press office.

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