NC HEALTH REPORT: Committee hearing delayed on Blue Cross bill to gut reform

March 21, 2011
By Adam Searing and Adam Linker

GROUPS CONCERNED ABOUT NC HEALTH EXCHANGE LAUNCH NEW WEBSITE:

We put it all together here – news stories, basic information, the latest updates and a way to JOIN the NC consumer/business group working harder than anyone on this issue:

http://www.responsiblehealthcarenc.org

NC BLUE CROSS BILL TO TAKE OVER HEALTH REFORM (H115-DOCKHAM) PULLED FROM COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION: Yes, the industry-backed bill (H115) that stifles real competition in the new NC health marketplace to be set up under health reform WILL NOT BE HEARD THIS WEEK in the House Health and Human Services committee (It was scheduled to come up on Tuesday, March 22nd.)

WHAT’S GOING ON?

Our guess is that General Assembly members are getting an earful from different constituents about this bill. They didn’t realize how controversial it is and they are trying to see a way to pass this legislation without being seen as working for the health insurance industry. However, this doesn’t mean anything has changed with regard to involving any consumer advocates at all in drafting the legislation. Anyone other than industry insiders has not even been allowed to see any new proposed legislative language or changes. This is an approach that is guaranteed to backfire. It took consumer advocates, insurance regulators, medical providers, the insurance industry and many others months of meetings at the NC Institute of Medicine to work out basic details of the health marketplace – and now legislators are attempting to do the same thing, but in a weeks-long behind-the-scenes secret process that cuts out most of the interested stakeholders. This isn’t a good way to craft legislation and it certainly isn’t a good way to build consensus on an important and complex issue.

CALL YOUR LEGISLATOR! Click here to find out their name and phone number and tell them you support CRHC’s two principles:

1. An easy-to-use website that allows a real choice of health plans.

2. Health insurance companies shouldn’t be allowed on the governing board of the new health marketplace.

Tell them too that CONSUMER GROUPS need to be at the table in developing the most important consumer legislation regarding health care in years.

Check out the news stories and background material at www.responsiblehealthcarenc.org

For more background see Adam Linker’s Legislative Bulletin: NC Needs an Open, Accountable, Pro-Consumer Health Benefits Exchange

You can write a letter to the editor of your local paper too. It’s easy using our handy system – just put in your zip code and we’ll give you a choice of media to send your letter to, some background, and an easy way to write your OWN letter. I really can’t stress this enough – use our background material, but write your OWN letter in your OWN words.

 

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