- Associated Press - Friday, January 13, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s choice to lead the department overseeing Medicaid and conflict with the General Assembly over expanding coverage to more people (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

Litigation challenging new Gov. Roy Cooper’s efforts to expand Medicaid alleges the administrations of outgoing President Barack Obama and the governor are working together to saddle the state with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional Medicaid expenses annually.

The Republican-controlled legislature’s top leaders filed their lawsuit in Raleigh federal court Friday night. They want the court to declare that Cooper’s state agency lacks authority to seek Medicaid expansion on its own and to block the federal government from approving Cooper’s request.

The lawsuit accuses Cooper of giving only 10 days’ notice of his intent to apply for expansion last week so his request could be heard before the Obama administration leaves office Jan. 20.

The suit came the same day Cooper named a federal Medicaid regulator to become his secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services.

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5:15 p.m.

North Carolina Republican legislative leaders say they’re about to sue over Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s attempt to expand Medicaid without the General Assembly’s consent, which they say is unconstitutional.

House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger described in a news release their plans to file a lawsuit late Friday in federal court.

Cooper unveiled last week his proposal to cover more than 500,000 people through the 2010 federal health overhaul, even as it’s in danger of getting repealed on Capitol Hill.

Cooper announced earlier Friday his choice to lead the state health department worked for the Obama administration in carrying out the health care law. GOP legislative leaders oppose expansion and say the state’s portion could cost hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

The litigation ramps up even more the rancor between Cooper and the legislature after he’s spent less than two weeks in office.

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12:30 p.m.

North Carolina’s new Democratic governor has chosen a top administrator of President Obama’s health care overhaul to lead the state department managing Medicaid as Roy Cooper tries to expand coverage through the law that’s now in danger of repeal.

Cooper announced Friday that Dr. Mandy Cohen is his choice to become state health and human services secretary.

Cohen has been chief operating officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She was a top official overseeing the insurance marketplaces created under the health overhaul law.

Cooper unveiled last week a proposal to expand Medicaid to more than 500,000 people under the law even as the tide rises in Washington against Obama’s signature legislation. The U.S. House was scheduled Friday to take the first formal step toward gutting the law.

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