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NC Gov McCrory, General Assembly reject NC state health exchange; Other state-run health exchanges now signing up thousands

IMG_1264Over the past few weeks, the Affordable Care Act’s implementation of a federal health exchange – the website set up for states that refused to establish their own health exchanges for citizens to choose health plans and sign up for coverage – has run into a series of problems. Outrage is expressed in some quarters that it is so hard for North Carolinians to peruse a selection of health plans, see what subsidies are available to bring prices down to reasonable levels, and buy coverage. However, a year ago this possibility wasn’t a mystery from either side of the political aisle in North Carolina.

Back then Representative Nelson Dollar, (R) Wake, said “Clearly, the best thing for our state is to have a state-directed exchange as opposed to leaving it to the federal government and getting a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all program.” And NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin (D) noted as he argued why a state exchange was better than the federal one, “So basically the consumer, when they could have easily, quickly do what they do now, which is contact us … will be calling 1-800-WASHINGTONDC (to talk to) someone that doesn’t know North Carolina, doesn’t know our people, doesn’t have accountability to respond quickly.”

Turns out this criticism of NC Governor McCrory and the NC General Assembly’s eventual action rejecting not only Medicaid expansion in NC but also a state health exchange is having exactly the consequences that these bipartisan commenters foresaw.  In states that did take the steps to establish their own health care exchanges, people are enrolling in health coverage by the thousands and the state exchange websites are generally working well.

In California just in the first week of operation, 29,000 Californians have already applied for coverage with an additional 27,000 applications pending.   In small Connecticut the exchange has already processed almost 2,000 applications.  In Kentucky, there are over 45,000 completed applications and over 15,000 people enrolled in new insurance plans. And in Washington State nearly 25,000 residents have enrolled in health coverage and an additional 37,000 residents have completed online applications.

So, in states that set up their own health exchanges residents are signing up by the thousands in just the first few weeks. NC had the chance to join this success story, was on track to establish its own exchange, and was derailed by unreasoning anti-Obamacare fever.  No doubt the NC politicians who rejected not only a state health exchange and Medicaid coverage for our poorest citizens but also $74 million in grant money to upgrade computers, run, and advertise a state health exchange will be complaining the loudest about the Affordable Care Act’s current federal website problems. They hope they can deflect people from their own major share of the blame and how North Carolina could have avoided the current hiccups in the launch of the ACA.

Finally, the irony of some of the most stridently conservative voices in our state – like the Pope Civitas Institute – now complaining about the problems with the federal exchange website when they were one of the loudest voices against a state exchange over the last few years should be lost on no one.

It’s time for the Governor and legislators to reverse their poor decision and establish a state-run health exchange for North Carolinians.

14 Comments

  1. Frances Jenkins

    October 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Good Lord, this is so incorrect. Even MSNBC said the Obama administration was telling lies. No one knows any numbers. You are on mission to destroy the Republicans using a nonprofit to do it. Shame on you, you have lost all honesty.

  2. LayintheSmakDown

    October 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    They have a great basis for trashing Barrycare. It is a bill that no one wanted that attempted to put the process down to the states when they did not want to do so. The Feds need to have all the blame for it regardless. Just because they did not take up the mantle to try to do it better is no real basis for criticism or any opinion, all the onus is on the federal democrat party….as it should be.

  3. Robyn

    October 21, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    lol @ ‘mission to destroy the Republicans’ They’re doing a fine job of it themselves, the GOP and tea pukes.

    And if this info is incorrect, prove it. Post sources. Don’t just throw your bs opinions out as if they were fact.

  4. david esmay

    October 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    LSD and Frances, living proof the GOP IS the party of stupid. Website glitches, we’ll get over it, affordable health care is a necessity for all.

  5. Alan

    October 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Frances,

    Were you watching Faux News when they told you MSNBC “said the Obama administration was telling lies”. Can you tell us precisely where/when? Also, the GOP doesn’t need any assistance in destroying itself, they’re doing a fantastic job all on their own.

    LSD, “a bill that no one wanted”, I beg to differ.. I recall many events where healthcare was the #1 issue, it may not have been wanted by the Teabaggers, but to simply state no one wanted it is demonstrably false. Also, it’s the DemocratIC Party.

    Robyn, I doubt you’ll see any sources, it’s more of the hot air and rhetoric we see posted here frequently.

  6. Gene Hoglan

    October 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Ooh the Civitas sockpuppets are out in record force today. Did Papa Art give you boys raises?

  7. gregflynn

    October 21, 2013 at 7:28 pm

  8. Frances Jenkins

    October 21, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    I love it, all the gains from the shut down are being lost with the roll out with Obama Care.

  9. Daniel

    October 22, 2013 at 12:15 am

    “gains from the shut down”???

    what in the world are you talking about? i think previous posters are right, help yourself and stop watching FOX. try the daily show instead ;)

  10. Alan

    October 22, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Frances, you are truly delusional, “all the gains from the shut down”. Perhaps in some alternate reality, but I struggle to understand what ‘gains” were made. Unless of course, you count the fact that governement employees were furloughed.

    Still waiting to see your ‘evidence’…

  11. deb

    October 22, 2013 at 9:18 am

    McCrory HAS TO GO ! ALL HIS DECISIONS ARE BEING MADE ONLY TO GET THE ATTENTION OF THE TEA PARTY. HE clearly does not care about the citizens of NC, only his own personal agenda. Just like Bush with going after Saddam. Had Saddam not threatened Bush’s father, we never would have gone to war in that country. He spun a lie to the American people that “they” bombed us. Iraq did not bomb us !

  12. GOP Rules

    October 22, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Frances, don’t worry. Harry/Barry/Nancy will shut it down again in early 2014 when they once again take a no negotiating on the debt stance. Hopefully Boner will stick to his guns this time, but probably not.

  13. Alan

    October 22, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    GOP Rule, I see you correctly defined the speaker as ‘boner’. Very acurate.

    I think I can smell GOP panic in the air….

  14. wncgirl

    October 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    McCrory is a sorry excuse for a leader…. Thanks republicants for buying the seat for the most incompetent Gov. in the nation.