NC HEALTH REPORT: NC Institute of Medicine - What the new health reform law means for NC

June 30, 2010
Editors: Adam Searing and Adam Linker

VIDEO: Senator Richard Burr is touting his latest efforts to repeal the health care reform law - but how to take seriously this health "expert" who called children getting affordable health care through NC Health Choice "hogs" at the "taxpayer trough"?


Tracking Poll - Support for health reform law increasing.

NC Justice Center joins National Campaign for Better Care, Wal-Mart, physician groups, others to support Dr. Don Berwick to head Medicare and Medicaid. 

New Health Reform Law: People on Medicare get free annual checkup, free preventive services.

New Health Reform Law: Members of Congress have to get same plans as millions of Americans on health insurance exchanges.

Adam Linker points out that the State Health Plan is being held hostage by the General Assembly's inaction on critical issues like governance and cost control.

Why bogus doctor and hospital "ratings" threaten health care quality for everyone.

Study: Media coverage of the health reform law focuses more on political "horse race" points and much less on the actual provisions changing our health system.

RESPONDING TO BJ LAWSON: This Fourth District congressional candidate had a fairly egregious column in the Chapel Hill News recently containing statements about the new health care reform law with absolutely no factual basis. See my response.

WHAT DOES HEALTH REFORM MEAN FOR NORTH CAROLINA? That's the question of the year and Adam Linker and I have some answers in this month's issue of the NC Medical Journal.

Don't miss the rest of the NC Med Journal too - it's all devoted to health care implementation in NC with a great overview article by Pam Silberman, Catherine Liao and Tom Ricketts, a look at comparative effectiveness research by Senator Josh Stein, the perspective of NC's Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, and many others.

FEDERAL ASSISTANCE FOR STATES (FMAP, COBRA)?  Still up in the air. Failure to extend federal assistance would mean a $500 million hole in NC's budget. Democratic leaders in the US Senate are waiting to see if additional pressure from states will induce enough members to vote for the bill. In NC our two Senators have made their positions clear - Senator Hagan is for helping NC and Senator Burr is firmly against.

NC BUDGET ANALYSIS: Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch laid out a nice overview and commentary on the state budget yesterday. For NC Health Choice, an issue many were watching, the news is very mixed. There's enough money to keep the program open, but only for about 6 months at current enrollment rates. My guess is that the program will either close to new children around January 2011 or there will be a "soft freeze" where the state purposefully discourages families from enrolling. 

HAC TRAVELING STATE - SPEAKING ABOUT IMPLEMENTING HEALTH REFORM: HAC has been all over NC over the last few weeks speaking to different groups about what's ahead with the new reform bill - and what changes NC needs to make now to protect the public from rising insurance rates before the full reform protections kick in. We have spoken to groups in Charlotte, Greensboro, Boone, Asheville, Raleigh, Sanford and elsewhere. We are happy to come speak with your group as well. Just email HAC Outreach Director Hope Marasco at or call 919-863-2405.

SMALL BUSINESS OR NONPROFIT QUALIFY FOR HEALTH INS TAX CREDIT? WE WANT TO INTERVIEW YOU! Does it look like your small business or nonprofit will qualify for the new Health Insurance Tax credit? See the IRS guidelines on the credit. If so, we may want to interview you for our video project. If interested, just email Adam Searing ( or Adam Linker ( 

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