- The Progressive Pulse - http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org -

Senator Hagan’s Leadership

[1]As a new Senator, NC’s Kay Hagan was dropped into one of the most volatile policy debates in years shortly after she joined the US Senate. Not only was she assigned to the Senate Health Committee in charge of drafting a substantial part of the health insurance reform legislation, but she was just elected from what is now clearly a swing state with a rapidly shifting and now very high-pressure political climate.

A veteran of some pretty heated health policy discussion in the NC General Assembly, Senator Hagan is no stranger to hashing out important legislation in a difficult political environment with intense criticism from both the right and the left. (Even, gasp, here at the Pulse.) While the NC Senate would be intimidating for anyone, she worked hard on the Senate Health Committee and took some pretty strong complaints from the progressive side of her party as she worked out solutions in the health reform plan like the public option structure.

In the end though, her hard work to look for compromises on health insurance reform has made her more effective rather than diluted her impact. In an interview [2]with WRAL yesterday, the Senator made clear that regardless of the hullabaloo from either side of the health care debate she is focused on some basic problems and solutions for North Carolinians in health reform:

First, a projection that a health care plan in 2016 will cost $26,000 for a family of four just doesn’t work in North Carolina where our median income in $39,000. Just this one fact highlights the urgency of making reform happen.

Second, a she supports a public health care option that doesn’t add to the deficit and that can provide an alternative for people in a fiscally responsible way.

Third, insurance companies must be prevented from not covering pre-existing illnesses and that we need more emphasis on wellness and prevention.

Not everyone may be happy with Senator Hagan’s goals for health reform. However, she’s clearly thought long and hard about the problems we face in North Carolina and what solutions will work and can pass through Congress. This may not please everyone or appease those yelling and making outrageous claims at some health care meetings. However, the Senator has an eye on something more important – what’s best for all North Carolinians.