File this in the “don’t they get it yet?” drawer. NC Senators from both sides of the aisle who many would consider moderate are introducing bills that are firmly antithetical to the interests of ordinary North Carolinians. First there was Republican Fletcher Hartsell’s bill to use $100 million in state tax dollars to give to venture capital firms to guarantee their risky investments. That’s great! We’ve got 1.3 million people without health insurance in the state and instead of helping businesses afford coverage with a deep discount health plan or similar strategy we’re going to spend twice as much state tax money gambling in risky business ventures. Then there is Democrat Tony Rand’s bill to strip NC Insurance Commissioner Jim Long’s ability to oversee insurance rates. Another great idea for the average Joe – Rand’s bill is backed by the insurance industry and Long has kept rates for auto and other insurance among the lowest in the country. Wonder which way rates will go after Long’s powers are restricted?
The good news is that public opinion is turning away from crazy ideas like these and more in favor of government action to assist ordinary North Carolinians. There’s more support for helping lower income people (see the recent Pew poll ) and more homegrown changes like the now 64% of people who support spending millions of tax dollars to guarantee health insurance to all of North Carolina’s children.
The wind is starting to blow from a different direction. Too bad some elected leaders aren’t listening.