North Carolina residents face fewer choices and significantly higher prices than the national average. Goodwin traces the reason for that to the bill enacted in February and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory in March.
The decision to refuse federally funded Medicaid expansion left “500,000 North Carolina residents, by my calculation,” without that option for health care coverage, Goodwin said. It created a large pool of potentially expensive-to-cover consumers.
Goodwin also said his department could have worked to recruit insurance carriers to offer residents the widest possible menu of options, increasing competition and potentially dropping costs. But, because of the dictates of the legislature, his staff isn’t even permitted to answer questions posed by residents who call his office. Callers have to be referred instead to federal offices.