One way to set up a really good health insurance exchange is to take a look at how people actually behave currently in a similar situation. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the research that has been conducted on the Massachusetts Connector, the health insurance exchange in Massachusetts, and one of the models that many states are considering replicating.
I’ve gotten lots of questions about health insurance coverage available to state politicians after we published the below picture showing NC Governor Pat McCrory and three members of NC’s part-time General Assembly at the bill signing rejecting billions of dollars from the federal Affordable Care Act for expanding Medicaid to 500,000 North Carolinians.
NC’s Governor, a full-time state employee, can get the comprehensive 70/30 state health plan for free or, if he choses to pay $22.76 a month he can get lower cost sharing in the same plan (80/20). The legislators pictured, Rep Justin Burr (R), Rep Marilyn Avila (R), and Rep Mark Hollo (R) have a very special deal because they are legislators. In North Carolina, being a legislator is a part-time job – the General Assembly meets about six months every other year with a short three month session in off years. Unlike any other part-time state employee, the legislators pictured all get the same deal as the Governor and other full time state employees – either receive free coverage or pay $22.76 per month and have lower out-of-pocket costs. Currently 80% to 90% of legislators take this great deal. Too bad they couldn’t bother to provide 500,000 poor North Carolinians with needed health coverage as well.
This morning’s editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer about Gov. McCrory’s stealthy approval of legislation deny Medicaid to half-million or more North Carolinians is on the money and worth your time.
I liked this part best: Read More…
Governor Pat McCrory today will reject billions of federal dollars from Obamacare to cover 500,000 more poor people under NC’s Medicaid program. McCrory says the main reason is that NC Medicaid is “broken.” But that’s just a talking point borrowed from Governors in states like Louisiana, Alabama and South Carolina. McCrory should be proud of NC Medicaid, our Community Care program – it’s award-winning and seen as a national model and national leader:
Last fall, it seemed as if New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was in North Carolina campaigning for Pat McCrory all the time. Every event featured the two men standing arm in arm and singing each other’s praises.
Oh that Christie would return to North Carolina today and pound a little common sense into the governorship of the man he helped elect.
Think Progress has more details on Christie’s decision to accept medicaid expansion:
“’It’s simple. We are putting people first,’ Christie explained in his address. ‘We have an opportunity to ensure that an even greater number of New Jerseyans who are at or near the poverty line will have access to critical health services beginning in January 2014.’ The governor added that the federal government’s funding toward the public insurance program will mean that ‘expanding Medicaid will ensure New Jersey taxpayers will see their dollars maximized.’”
At last report, however, McCrory remains committed to doing the opposite of his mentor on this critical issue.