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This week Charlotte mom Kimberly Tonyan came to the NC General Assembly to tell her success story of getting affordable health coverage for herself and her two daughters.  Using the Affordable Care Act’s www.healthcare.gov website she was able to purchase a great Blue Cross plan for herself and her daughters for around $25 a month. Get past the nasty political advertisements and the jeers of “Abominable Care Act” from so-called impartial experts and this is the reality. Real families getting good, affordable coverage.  Sign-up deadline is March 31 – check out www.healthcare.gov or call 1-855-733-3711 for a local appointment with a nonprofit health navigator and get signed up!

fact sheet scr shotToday the NC Justice Center released a new fact sheet titled “North Carolina’s Medicaid Choice: Options and Implications.”  The fact sheet gives a brief overview of the current national picture on state Medicaid expansion decisions to use federal money available under the Affordable Care Act.  It also gives more detail about who is in this coverage gap in NC and how other states – even states with very conservative leadership – are moving forward to improve coverage and care.

 

Today the NC General Assembly convened a “Study Committee on the Affordable Care Act” which really was simply a thinly-veiled attempt to bash the President’s health care law.  The chair opened the meeting by saying this was simply a way to “gather information” about the law, but the main witness of the day, Chris Conover, quickly dispelled any sense that this was anything other than the latest conservative attack on better health care for everyone.  Conover, holding positions at the famously right-wing American Enterprise Institute and Duke University left no doubt where his allegiances lay in his first remark to the committee about the “abominable care act”:

This sort of partisan comment from Conover shouldn’t be a huge surprise. After all, it was just two weeks ago that Conover wrote the following in a column in Forbes magazine:

Is President Obama Really a Progressive Fascist?

Then there was Conover’s discredited (and ridiculous) claim last year that the Affordable Care Act would “add $6.2 trillion to the US deficit.  How does a law that the Congressional Budget Office says actually reduces the deficit end up adding to it in Conover’s world?  For Conover, the math is easy – just assume that Congress repeals all of the health care cost control measures in the Affordable Care Act.

If this wasn’t enough, take a look at this screen grab from Conover’s bio page at the American Enterprise Institute where he is still hawking the again discredited claim that “129 million people losing insurance” because of the Affordable Care Act:

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It’s unclear how Conover squares his supposed extra trillions spent on providing more insurance through the ACA adds up to more than 40% of the total US population losing insurance because of the ACA, but I guess to get on Fox news that’s what you’ve got to push.

In the end this committee did itself no favors with Conover’s breathlessly apocalyptic presentation other than making clear the fiercely partisan nature of the effort.  And I’m willing to bet cash money that Conover nor the anti-ACA members of this committee would be willing to hear from or look in the eye the small business owner Retta Riordan or mom Kimberly Tonyan. I met both of these amazing women this morning and they were overjoyed to get coverage from the Affordable Care Act this year.  That’s the reality that all of the right-wing’s posturing and polemics can’t overcome – real North Carolinians getting real help.

 

 

 

 

The math is done and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone – NC is losing $4.9 million per day since January 1, 2014 because Governor McCrory and the NC General Assembly refused to expand Medicaid.  This is money  NC taxpayers paid in federal taxes that is now headed to states like Arizona, New York, Arkansas and Nevada where conservative legislators and governors chose to expand coverage for their poorest citizens.  You can embed the counter below on your own page by going here.

(Estimate based on data from the NC Institute of Medicine for 2014-15.)