General Assembly Passes Small Business Healthcare Act, Forest Urges Cooper to Sign

RALEIGH – While Democrats (and some Republicans?) push relentlessly for the expansion of Big Government to “do something” (aka redistribute) about healthcare costs in North Carolina, Republican (and several Democratic) lawmakers in the General Assembly are getting government out of the way so consumers can take advantage of the law of numbers and reduce the cost of health insurance.

The Small Business Healthcare Act (Senate Bill 86), put simply, allows for small business owners that work in common professions can join together to buy group health insurance for employees. The jump in scale achieved by forming the associations means lower prices for health insurance relative to each employee. The potential savings for small business owners could be a real boon amid the continuing inflation in healthcare costs.

The bill has been sent to the desk of Governor Roy Cooper, who, as you may have heard, has not been in the mood to sign some important bills lately. Lieutenant Governor and Cooper’s likely 2020 opponent Dan Forest is urging him to sign the bill into law so employers can realize a better solutions for more affordable healthcare.

“This week, the General Assembly passed a bi-partisan bill that gives our state’s small businesses greater ability to provide cost-effective, quality health insurance options to their workers. The Small Business Healthcare Act (S86) is a private-sector solution to getting more hard working North Carolinians health coverage without impacting our state’s budget. I urge Governor Cooper to sign this legislation and stand up for this common sense approach to health insurance.”

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The bill passed with enough votes to hypothetically override a veto from Cooper, but the bill is such a common sense approach, as Forest said, that he may just sign it.

Such legislation is a case study in removing largely arbitrary regulations and letting markets (people) deliver more balance in a world warped by government interference. The ball got rolling when U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) teamed up with President Trump to craft an executive order to clear a path from the federal level for association health plans; the path Senate Bill 86 takes advantage of.

More proposals to release producers/consumers, employers/employees from the grip of government can certainly be proffered by Republicans in the North Carolina House and Senate, especially in healthcare. If Cooper signs this bill, hopefully it provides lawmakers with the gumption to tackle progressively larger cases of interference with the same approach.

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