In North Carolina Roy Cooper, the newly elected Democratic governor is trying to expand Medicaid before President Obama leaves office. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

Obamacare was in its death throes in Washington today, as the U.S. Senate set in motion the budget process by which it is expected to be repealed. In North Carolina, however, the newly elected Democratic governor is trying to expand Medicaid under its provisions to 650,000 additional state residents in a last-minute effort before President Obama leaves office.

Gov. Roy Cooper wants to do this with a snap amendment to the state’s Medicaid plan, which he plans to submit to the feds by the end of this week, over the objections of a supermajority-Republican state legislature. But it would involve defying a state law that was passed more than three years ago and praying that the courts look the other way.

Addressing a group of business leaders at an economic forum on Wednesday morning, the Democratic governor who was sworn into office on New Year’s Day said he would file an amendment to the state Medicaid plan by Friday – which would allow hundreds of thousands more people to sign up for government health insurance.

This scheme is somewhat far-fetched. It depends first on the cooperation of the Obama administration, which in its waning days would have to sign off on something highly irregular and with unusual speed. As one legislative leader put it, an amendment to the state’s Medicaid program would normally take six to nine months.

But even if that were accompished, the amendment would run afoul of a 2013 law that “bars the executive branch from expanding the program.” However this shakes out, it would seem that Bleeding North Carolina hasn’t seen the end of its recent political warfare.

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