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North Carolina Medicaid overhaul bill clears Senate while another try to expand Medicaid fails

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — The Senate's formula for overhauling how North Carolina's Medicaid program should pay for patient treatment has been approved with some Democratic support.

Five Democrats joined all Republicans voting Tuesday to back the proposal, which would replace the current fee-for-service system with one that invites private insurance companies and regional hospital and doctor networks to enter into state contracts.

The groups would be paid a set monthly amount for each patient. A new state Medicaid department also would be created.

Initial approval came Monday. The bill now returns to the House, which prefers medical provider groups only receiving contracts.

An amendment by Asheville Democratic Sen. Terry Van Duyn failed on party lines. It would have expanded Medicaid enrollment through the federal health care law. Republicans have repeatedly opposed expansion.

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