Bill would block Affordable Care Act


Raleigh, N.C. — Senate Republicans opened their session Wednesday with an effort to opt out of provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act set to take effect next year.

Senate Bill 4 would exempt North Carolina from establishing a state-run health insurance exchange or an exchange jointly operated by the state and federal government. The exchanges provide people without employer-sponsored health plans with a marketplace to purchase their own coverage.

Read the article here:

This bill will be heard in the Senate Insurance Committee tomorrow morning at 10 am at the NC Legislative Building, Room 1027/1128.

I have Medicare Advantage Plan, so this does not affect me directly. But it does add to the list of planned bills that lead me to see the Republicans as heartless bastards.

How many of them are willing to give up their state-paid health benefits?


So are they going to give the money back?

The $73.9 million grant the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded to North Carolina two weeks ago to build a state exchange.

Will I have to move out of the state now? Are they really going to block the exchanges?

Its not quite like that...

Yes, they DO have to give back the money if they're not going to take the lead with the exchange set-up. No, they're not (and can't) blocking the exchange. They're simply leaving it for the federal government to do the set-up. It's smart because this way, they're not legally committed to to be the sole funders of this system once the federal money dries up in a few years, thereby forcing the Federal Government to fund it in perpetuity.

Only makes sense if your ideology is same as theirs

From Policy Watch today, also on the ACA:

"While the House was doing the bidding of the corporate lobbyists and punishing workers for being laid off, the Senate was ramming legislation through a committee to reject an expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act."

The expanded coverage would provide health care for more than 500,000 low-income people who cannot afford health insurance and it would bring $15 billion to North Carolina hospitals in the next decade. The federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost for the first three years and more than 90 percent after that.

But federal government is apparently the key phrase here. Legislative leaders’ comments to the media about the legislation rejecting the Medicaid expansion sounded like the speeches at the tea party rallies many of them attend.

A press release from Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said

“Obamacare was forced on us against our will by the federal government…”

Against our will? It was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by the president that the country elected and recently re-elected and it was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, a majority of which was appointed by presidents from Berger’s own political party..."

Martha Brock

GOP leaders to 'give the money back?'

Looks like this is the case. See later post with link to Raleigh N&O article on states rights from today's paper.

Perdue got a grant to pay to set up an Insurance Exchange. Looks like they are refusing to accept the grant money.

NC is following the lead of other old south states. I expect to see the confederate flag hoisted at the NC Capitol any day now. It's Fort Sumter time all over again.

Martha Brock

Senate Insurance Committee meeting 'worst ever'

From the Raleigh News and Observer:

"...Called to the podium to address the committee,

Rose Vaughn Williams, attorney for the N.C. Department of Insurance, said she was happy to have the opportunity to speak, but said “the natural instinct is not to step in front of a moving train.”

A few minutes later, the committee voted to approve the bill.

Later Thursday, two dozen House and Senate Democrats held a news conference to complain about the committee meeting, which was expected to have included a hearing on the pros and cons of expanding Medicaid and of allowing the state to assume partial or even full responsibility for the exchange in future years. Although the state missed its deadline for declaring a state-run exchange in the program’s first year, options remain open for adjusting how the exchange would be run in future years.

Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt of Asheville called the committee meeting “the worst I have seen,

“I could not believe the interest groups were not allowed to speak,” Nesbitt said. “We didn’t hear from the doctors; we didn’t hear from the hospitals. This is going to have a severe economic impact on this state, especially rural communities.”

Read more here:

So much for the openness and transparency we were promised by the GOP when they took over the NCGA.

Martha Brock