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Insurance committee declines to vote on moving the State Health Plan

The House Insurance Committee allowed Rep. Nelson Dollar to present his bill for moving control of the State Health Plan to the Department of Insurance but the committee would not allow a vote.

We’ll have more on this later, but essentially Dollar is trying to get the State Health Plan out of the General Assembly, where powerful political interests have led to serious mismanagement and mounting deficits.

I’m still not convinced that DOI is the best location for the State Health Plan, but I completely agree that the State Health Plan should be moved, and moved as soon as possible. Members of the Insurance Committee argued that the Blue Ribbon Task Force on the State Health Plan should continue to study the matter. And in a previous post I argued the same thing.

I am adding a caveat. The Blue Ribbon Task Force must get serious about reform at the State Health Plan. So far the meetings have been presentations by the State Health Plan administration on various topics, some informative and most not. It wasn’t helpful, for example, to sit through videos of people providing testaments to various wellness initiatives. That has nothing to do with the important topics of how the SHP is governed and structured.

We need to bring in experts from other states to testify on how their plans operate. We need experts on cost control to speak. We need to seriously consider how to give state employees other options besides plans offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

If the Blue Ribbon Task Force is going to continue on its current track then we don’t have time to waste. If the Blue Ribbon Task Force is going to get down to business, then transferring management of the State Health Plan can wait.

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