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.