Republican, would allow North Carolinians access to health insurance plans
authorized in other states. Such a move would lower the number of uninsured in
our state and lower health insurance costs at a time when many desperately need
Consider that North Carolina's average annual family health insurance premium
of $4,104 is higher than 30 states, and is 61 percent higher than Iowa's
($2,544) and 55 percent higher than North Dakota's ($2,652).
But thanks to state regulations, you are denied access to these much more
affordable insurance options. A basic truism of economics is that you can only
make people worse off by limiting their choices. Senate Bill 725 would end the
state government's most severe restriction of your health insurance options, and
likely produce significant savings for many families and individuals.
Especially in these difficult economic times, North Carolina Senators who
oppose SB 725 will have a hard time explaining why they decided to side with
health insurance giants to deny struggling North Carolinians access to
affordable health insurance.
So, what is the status of this bill that could be so important for so many? It is sitting in the Senate Commerce Committee. In this radio interview with Robby Kendall on WTXY 1540,Chair of the Commerce Committee R.C. Soles (D – Columbus) admits to not having read the bill, but promises the bill will get a hearing.
It is largely up to Soles and the committee vice chairs to decide which bills get a hearing. Given all the lip service we hear from politicians about providing affordable access to health care, why hasn't SB 725 even been put on the commerce committee's calendar yet?
Since the bill was referred to the committee on 3/24, the committee has discussed 24 bills (including the ones scheduled for tomorrow). Among the pressing legislation that has taken priority ahead of a bill that could save North Carolinians thousands on their health insurance are bills that address such pressing issues as:
- banning the sale of novelty lighters
- requiring mopeds to be registered
- requiring local governments to announce upcoming fee changes on their website
- change the makeup of the state's cemetery association
- require bail bondsmen to first earn a high school diploma or GED before they can be licensed
I encourage folks interested in hearing debate about a bill that would provide access to affordable health care to contact the chair and vice chairs of the Senate Commerce Committee. They can debate the licensing requirements of bail bondsmen another day.