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Perdue looks at privatizing Medicaid management

The cost of providing health care to North Carolina's low-income and disabled citizens has grown to more than 15 percent of the state's total budget. Governor Bev Perdue says that's one of her top priorities as she meets with other governors around the country at the National Governor's Association meeting in Washington. And she says she's considering allowing a private company to manage Medicaid if it will save money. "We cannot sustain the unexpected, unanticipated increases that occur in our Medicaid budget every single year. And I for one don't want to cut services. So for me, the answer is simple - let's be sure the people we're serving are the people who really need care." Perdue says she's intrigued by the cost savings a handful of states have managed to find for Medicaid by handing management of the program off to a private company. Last week, North Carolina got a $152 million infusion for Medicaid from the federal government, but Perdue says she met with the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services over the weekend to plead for more. North Carolina's Medicaid budget is expected to be $250 million over budget by June.