Coverage for 500,000 North Carolinians is a matter of state law
RALEIGH (January 17, 2017) — Governor Roy Cooper and the federal government filed motions to dissolve the stay issued on Saturday temporarily restraining the Governor from seeking Medicaid coverage for 500,000 North Carolinians and the government from considering that request.
The Governor correctly argues that the state Republican leadership — seeking to deny our residents this life-saving and changing coverage — has no legal standing to do so federal court. This controversy over the power of the Governor is a matter of state law and should be decided in state court, as the federal court has no jurisdiction over solely state law matters. Further, the issue raised over federal government actions is not a ripe dispute, meaning there is no case to decide until the government acts one way or another on the Governor’s request.
Ultimately, on the basis of long-standing principles governing the relationship between the federal government and the states, the court should abstain from deciding this case where state law questions over the Governor’s power dominate the controversy.
As a matter of law, and fundamental fairness to our residents, the Governor should be allowed to proceed. It is long past time for the many who so desperately seek health care access and coverage for their families, particularly in the absence of any alternative plan for coverage or care offered by Republican leadership.