From the News & Observer, a story that a bill to insure North Carolina's high-risk population has been killed in the Senate. The idea came from a N.C. Institute of Medicine task force, which included such varying interests as business owners, health insurnace executives, hospital admins, docs, consumer advocates, and lawmakers themselves.
The bill was so finely crafted by this task force of experts that it passed the House 95-10 just yesterday. But, it has been killed in the Senate.
What is a high-risk person?
That means people such as Denis and Alice O'Connor of Chapel Hill will continue to do without health coverage.
The O'Connors, who are retired but too young to qualify for Medicare, lost their private health insurance in 2003 when their carrier quit doing business in North Carolina. They immediately tried to buy coverage through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, but they turned the policy down when they were told various health problems -- high cholesterol, multiple skin cancers, migraine headaches -- would push the cost of their plan to $3,000 a month.
I am pretty sure that I met Denis O'Connor at a healthcare forum, where he showed me his $3000 a month quote. What exactly did he do wrong? He lived.
Shame on you Denis. Living. Pshhhht. Work hard, get ahead, that whole American dream crap. Retire to enjoy your kids, grandkids, and wile away your remaining years. Yeah, right! Get back to work you lazy ass, this is America, family comes AFTER work - didn't you get the Republican memo?
Yet, in this case, it is a Democratically controlled legislature that pushed this bill for the good of our high-risk population (but for the grace of God...); then, killed it. Opinions on why it was killed vary. Me, I find myself actually agreeing with Adam Searing, who I am not a huge fan of, in this case.
Adam Searing, a consumer advocate who strongly supports the high-risk pool, suspects the bill is the victim of a whisper campaign by insurers that don't want to pay for the pool, or think it would siphon away people who now buy private coverage. In a newsletter sent by e-mail this week, Searing accused Blue Cross of acting to kill the bill.
"I don't eavesdrop, but I've spent enough time around the legislature to know when a lobbyist for an organization is working very hard on a piece of legislation," Searing said in an interview.
Denis, consider yourself the modern-day electric car, or earth. Good ideas that were killed off by lobbyist pressures. Not bad company.
p.s. woe unto you that spent your summers at the beach eating fried food and developing migraines - your $3000 a month bill is a coming.