RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Several physicians and nurses said Monday the North Carolina General Assembly's choice to cover more uninsured people through Medicaid should be a no-brainer because it will create jobs, save state money and make people healthier.

The medical professional spoke at a Legislative Building news conference a day before a House committee takes up a bill to prevent North Carolina from expanding Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul.

The measure, which passed the Senate last week, would block state government from covering an estimated 500,000 uninsured people through Medicaid and tells the federal government to build the state's online marketplace for health insurance.

The federal government will repay states all costs related to the expansion for three years, ultimately falling to 90 percent. Republicans contend they can't be assured the federal government will keep its word and instead be required to pay significantly more in a state Medicaid system they say is already struggling with overspending.

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