NC HEALTH REPORT: Blue Cross bill to gut reform being heard on Tuesday, write a letter to your local newspaper

March 4, 2011
By Adam Searing and Adam Linker

NC BLUE CROSS BILL TO TAKE OVER HEALTH REFORM (H115-DOCKHAM) WILL BE HEARD IN COMMITTEE FOR THE FIRST TIME TUESDAY: Yes, the industry-backed bill (H115) that stifles real competition in the new NC health marketplace to be set up under health reform will be heard in the House Health and Human Services committee on Tuesday at 10am in Raleigh (Room 544, Legislative Office Building).

Once on a fast track to quick passage, the pace has slowed a little. However, at this meeting we will see just how much. If the committee passes the bill as a “committee substitute” with only cosmetic changes, then we’ll know NC Blue Cross is intent on pushing passage as fast as possible. So far, legislative leaders have had no interest in getting all the parties together to try and work through differences, so any changes have been made behind closed doors.

Are you interested in this issue? Didn’t get to have a say before? Or are merely amazed that NC Blue Cross is about to take over health reform in NC with the blessing of the NC General Assembly?

If so, come on down Tuesday to the committee meeting and make your voice heard!

WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF YOUR LOCAL PAPER TO STOP NC BLUE CROSS TAKING OVER HEALTH REFORM IN NORTH CAROLINA: 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.

JOIN THE COALITION FOR A COMPETITIVE HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE: Individuals and small businesses in NC deserve a new competitive health care marketplace (health exchange) under health reform that encourages real competition, has easy to understand insurance plan choices on a website like Travelocity or Consumer Reports, and doesn’t allow health insurance companies on its governing board. That’s what this new coalition is all about.  See the Coalition’s two guiding principles and partial list of member organizations so far.

EMAIL CRHC spokesperson Abby Emanuelson (abby.emanuelson@nmss.org; 919-­792-­1006) if your SMALL BUSINESS or ORGANIZATION wants to join the coalition.

Abby tells me CRHC is also starting a list of INDIVIDUALS who want to be members – just send her your information too.

Small businessman Lou Meyers on insurers governing the new marketplace. "It's like the fox guarding the hen house except in this case, the fox is dressed up in chicken suits," Meyers explained. "I mean it's just no win."

BACKGROUND ON NC’S COMPETITIVE HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE

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

Download our packet of recent national and local press on this issue in North Carolina, including the WFAE story, the Adams’ op-ed on exchanges in the News and Observer, the story in DC’s The Hill newspaper and Wendell Potter’s news analysis at the Huffington Post.

 

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