GOPers taking over the NC House and Senate this month have indicated that one of their first priorities is passing a bill “exempting” North Carolina from the benefits of the new national health law. Strange they want to take away from older adults the 50% discount on brand name drugs in Medicare, take away from parents the ability to keep their adult children on their own insurance plans up to age 26, eliminate the new affordable high risk pool for people with pre-existing health conditions, get rid of the requirement that health insurers spend at least 80% of their premiums on actual health care services and so on, but I guess GOPers feel someone must sacrifice.
Of course, NC state legislators don’t have to worry about their own health insurance, so they can feel OK about voting against affordable coverage for the rest of us. Despite being part-time workers, every NC legislator qualifies to receive completely free tax-payer subsidized health coverage for themselves through the NC State Health Plan. No other part-time state worker has that right. And that’s not all. NC legislators also uniquely qualify to buy into the State Health Plan at the basic rate after they leave the General Assembly. For someone who is older or has a pre-existing health condition, this is a valuable right.
So, when the NC General Assembly convenes this month and starts off with a vote on taking away health care protections from people in NC, I hope that the state legislators who vote against health coverage for the rest of us also decline their own fully state-funded health coverage and pledge not to sign up for affordable state coverage after they leave office. After all, they want to deny those protections for the rest of us, so it would be hypocritical to enjoy great health benefits themselves.