Bob Orr’s Health Plan – Bring Back the “Drive-Through Delivery”

 I’ll have more to say about GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Orr’s lengthy proposals for “market-based” health plans in the future.  While Orr is a nice guy and often has some pretty responsible and interesting ideas, there is one major aspect of his health proposals that is really disappointing.  He focuses on “reducing coverage mandates” which he says result in higher premiums and force people to buy a “Cadillac” health plan.  Unfortunately, Orr doesn’t say much else about these awful “mandates” he’s so interested in getting rid of.

Orr ought to be asked exactly which mandates he would choose to eliminate.  Perhaps the one requiring insurance companies to allow a woman at least two days in the hospital after the birth of a child – the eliminate drive-through delivery mandate.  Or maybe he’d like to get rid of the mandate requiring it to be left up to a woman and her doctor as to how much hospital care she needs after a mastectomy.  Maybe he’d like to eliminate the newborn hearing screening mandate – now there’s one we sure don’t need.  He probably isn’t worried about getting tested for prostate cancer because he’s got great health coverage himself – so he’d be OK with deleting the colorectal cancer screening mandate.  Or how about eliminating coverage for detection of ovarian cancer?

You get the idea – when you actually start talking about which mandates you want to eliminate you run up against an uncomfortable problem.  People who work hard and play by the rules spend lots of money for health insurance.  They deserve health plans that aren’t stripped-down profit-makers for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, but actually cover the services they need to lead healthy, productive, and – yes – dignified lives.  Kicking a new mother out of the hospital 12 hours after she gives birth isn’t in keeping with values North Carolinians think are important.  Looks like Orr has some homework on health care values to do himself.


  1. Max

    February 19, 2008 at 12:59 pm

  2. Adam Searing

    February 19, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Boy Max – since I just posted this before noon, you must have had a busy lunch hour. Might want to go by Quiznos, get yourself my favorite – a Baja Chicken sandwich and a Mtn. Dew – and calm down. On second thought, hold the Mtn. Dew – too much caffeine.

    Well, you found me out. I do, as you say, “hate freedom.” At least the freedom of insurance companies to sell us health policies that have so many limitations and restrictions that when we get sick they don’t cover the care we need. And yes, I, as you say, “hate people” too. At least the people who are the executives and profiteers in our current health system and getting enormously wealthy by turning healthcare into just another big business where some folks get hurt, but that’s just the market you know.

    Now, about that sandwich!

  3. […] for specifics.  Borders responded to a straight-forward post from Adam which asked gubernatorial candidate Bob Orr which mandates he was willing to eliminate in […]

  4. Bob Orr

    February 21, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Adam, somehow you completely miss the point of my proposal. It’s not MY choice what mandates you or anyone else may desire and be willing to pay for. What I propose is that all consumers of health insurance have options as to what mandates they would like for their health insurance policy for whatever reason ranging from I’m single and don’t need marital counseling to I’d never go to a chiropractor to I just can’t afford the full package. The current system is pricing many people out of the insurance market, so I don’t understand why eliminating choices and increasing competition for health insurance in NC is such a bad idea.

  5. Adam Searing

    February 21, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Bob –

    Your focus on the individual rather than the community means you totally miss the whole point of insurance.

    Sure, if I’m 25 and in perfect health, I’d prefer to have a health plan that covered very little and was thus much cheaper. But insurance isn’t just about me, it’s about spreading risk among everyone so we can all afford coverage when we need it. That 25 year old will get older and sicker – we all do unfortunately as I’m finding out – and he’ll need insurance that covers diagnostic tests and more comprehensive treatment. If the 25 year olds are all paying very little for coverage, that means the older person’s premiums will be through the roof and he’ll never be able to afford a plan.

    It’s not basic requirements on insurance policies pricing people out of the market – it’s our crazy system where overuse of unproven technology and drugs is driving costs through the roof. (see the McKinsey business report I reference above in my post on Fred Smith’s plan) This is a problem we all need to come together and fix. Otherwise, splitting up the insurance market as you suggest means throwing out the old folks with the bathwater.

  6. Joseph Coletti

    February 22, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Adam, I also commented on your Fred Smith post that third-party payment is a big part of the uncritical embrace of new technologies without weighing the costs and benefits. There have been clear quality improvements and cost reductions in areas where we pay out of pocket (eyes, teeth, plastic surgery), but not so much in areas where someone else pays most of the bill.

  7. Adam Searing

    February 22, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Sure, but what you conservatives want is for everyone to be their own doctor. We know that jacking up out of pocket expenses means people reduce care – it’s just that they reduce as much needed care as care they don’t need. We need to have more review of new technologies from a respected source so doctors don’t recommend treatments that are of dubious – and expensive value.

  8. Joseph Coletti

    February 22, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    “You liberals/progressives/movement that must not be named folk” complain about the lack of improved outcomes for the amount the US spends on health care, but outcomes didn’t get worse for those in the RAND study you allude to either when they reduced the amount of care they got. Seems to suggest some of what you consider needed care might be just wasted care.

    On another note, whom would you consider a respected source?

  9. sturner

    February 25, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Mr. Orr…
    From the healthcare section on your website you state:

    “Reduce Coverage Mandates: North Carolina has 46 coverage mandates (government dictated policy benefits) resulting in 41% higher premiums and preventing you from choosing a basic plan.”

    I believe the “41% higher premiums” figure to be inaccurate and misleading. Can you tell us how your campaign arrived at this figure and what resources were used? (I have also sent this question to your campaign manager.)


    On a lighter note, your campaign staff may be able to find work on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show or the Colbert Report. You have this question from the UNC-TV debate on health care on your front-page:

    “Question- What is the answer to achieving health parody among all the races in our state?”

    I am not kidding. Go here to see it: http://www.orr2008.com/

    Now, I know conservatives are dismissive of multiculturism…but it seems unusually cruel to discuss “health parody” rather than “health parity” on matters of race in North Carolina.

  10. sturner

    February 25, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Yikes!! Make that multiculturalism. At this rate, I may be able to find work on the Orr campaign or “Governer” McCrory’s campaign.

Check Also

Senator Richard Burr: Makes up his own facts about NC Medicaid in order to criticize it

North Carolina’s Senator Burr used to be a ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

It appears that Thomas Farr is back in the game – the North Carolina redistricting game, that is. Th [...]

At its meeting next week, the UNC Board of Governors was scheduled to unveil a new plan for the futu [...]

You can hear the anger rising in Yevonne Brannon’s voice as she talks about the state’s controversia [...]

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Patrick McHenry has been representing western North Carolina in the U.S. House si [...]

I am a public school teacher in Forsyth County. As a special education teacher, I work with students [...]

As most everyone who knows the North Carolina legislature will tell you, regardless of their politic [...]

North Carolina lawmakers sped past their self-imposed crossover deadline last week – the date by whi [...]

The post The Nutcracker appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]