North Carolina's new Democratic governor says he'll seek to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, even though a state law prevents him from seeking expansion unilaterally.
Gov. Roy Cooper said during an economic forum Wednesday that he would file paperwork with federal regulators by Friday.
A 2013 state law approved by former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and GOP legislators declares that North Carolina won't expand Medicaid and says the General Assembly must sign off on any proposal by state officials to do so. But Cooper said the state law invades the governor's "core executive authority."
Cooper's announcement comes as President-elect Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders pledge to repeal Obama's law.
Republican State Senate leader Phil Berger called Cooper's plans a "brazenly illegal attempt to force" Medicaid expansion upon state taxpayers.