Health Exchange Bill: Special Interest Welcome Mat v. 15 Minutes for Statewide Public Comment

People from all over the state have been calling GOP Rep. Jerry Dockham’s office for a chance to speak on the industry-backed bill (H115) he’s sponsoring that sets up a industry-friendly health insurance exchange in NC as part of national health reform.  Special interests have already been invited to the podium already to speak at length about their views on this critical legislation.  Hopes were high that Rep. Dockham would allow the public to be heard as well.  Unfortunately, despite Rep. Dockham’s public statements, public comment will be extremely limited – unlike the welcome mat afforded special interests:

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9 Comments

  1. AdamL

    April 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    You must be kidding. The NC Medical Society and NC Hospital Association were given unlimited time to opine on the bill.

  2. Jack

    April 15, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    At this particular committee meeting public comment was not allowed. Odd how the Tea and Republican parties are so against the democratic process of inclusion. They and their followers express such self righteous indignation when ever questioned or challenged about what they are doing and why. As if it’s obvious what’s going on.

    Well, it is obvious what going on. The People’s House has been taken over by those who believe that exclusion is an effective way to govern and that political might makes right. No pun intended.

  3. Bill

    April 15, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    My read of H115 divides representation on the exchange board relatively equally between groups that I consider stakeholders in the health care world: consumers/patients, providers, insurers, employers, and regulators. I don’t think the board is exclusionary at all – it seems quite inclusive as a matter of fact. If board members will be making important decisions about health care in NC, shouldn’t all the varying viewpoints be heard during deliberations?

    I’m not wild at the idea of insurers being on the board either, but at least their votes will be diluted, and the other members could consider the insurers’ arguments/positions (be they self-serving or not). Same goes for any other “special interest” that may be represented.

    So I have to ask… what’s all the hubbub really about?

  4. Alex

    April 16, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Evidently, Jack wasn’t around when the Democratic power mongers ran roughshod over the state legislature for years. The messrs. Black, Rand ,Basnight, etc ran the entire state from a backroom cutting one deal after another. Don’t tell me about inclusion !

  5. Lou Meyers

    April 16, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Insurance Cos. on the board regulating their own product? This a non starter and anyone who supports this idiocy is either a fool or a fiend. And if they can’t finally provide a viable product after decades of failure — then we will!

    As far as the other well heeled special interests, that are doing fabulously well under the status quo — to the detriment of the consumer/patient — they should be represented, but only in small numbers with the vast majority of the board controlled by those who have the most to lose — their lives and the lives of their loved ones!

    Otherwise, you can still call it a health exchange — just don’t call it health reform.

  6. Lou Meyers

    April 16, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Jack and Bill, you guys are both right. Neither party has served the people well.

    Let’s get beyond that. It’s all over if we don’t come together on this one.

  7. AdamL

    April 17, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Alex, so do you think the message in November was that people loved the techniques of Rand, Basnight, and Black, they just wish a different party were using those tactics?

    I’m going to guess that people don’t like these tactics no matter who employs them. That’s why we railed against this sort of abuse of power when Rand and Basnight were in charge.

  8. Alex O.

    April 18, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    If BCBSNC gets this bill through we will have a real mess on our hands. I predict it will leave people in the future shaking their heads like they do now at the contract BCBSNC has for the SHP. Wondering how anyone could be so naive to give the biggest insurer in NC whatever they want at whatever cost to the citizens of this state.

    I do not care what party you are in this make no fiscal sense at all.

  9. Bill

    April 22, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Can somebody explain to me how this bill, as currently written, gives BCBSNC or “industry” whatever it wants?