REPUBLICAN State Lawmakers Peddle New Government-Funded Healthcare Program

RALEIGH – In a page taken right out of the Democrats’ Big Government Playbook, some Republican members of the legislature are again pushing a government healthcare program for low-income North Carolinians lacking health insurance coverage.

House Bill 655, titled NC Health Care for Working Families, aims to provide subsidized health insurance coverage for those that fall in the ‘coverage gap,’ or those that do not qualify for Medicaid. If it sounds a lot like the Democrats’ push for the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, that’s because it emanates from the same misplaced trust in government to provide healthcare solutions.

Again, this proposal is coming from Republicans, who ostensibly believe in limited government and commonly criticize government intervention in the private sector. The bill backers say it would cover about 283,000 people in North Carolina, further predicting that another 195,000 would shift onto the plan from other insurance – nearly half a million people to be absorbed in a new government-crafted, subsidized health insurance program.

It’s truly amazing that, after years of Obamacare fueling premium increases and thoroughly aggravating the very healthcare cost increases it intended to alleviate, Republicans in Raleigh are now of the mind that a different government program is the answer.

“Cancer doesn’t care if you have an insurance card or not.”

No, that quote is not President Barack Obama circa 2009 pushing his signature healthcare debacle, Obamacare; that’s Republican N.C. House member Dr. Greg Murphy, sponsor of H.B.655, pushing this clever new government program for the uninsured.

One of the bill sponsors, Rep. Greg Murphy (R-Pitt), a surgeon in Greenville, is running for congress in North Carolina’s Third District special election. He bills himself as the “clear conservative choice” in that race.

Does this bill sound conservative? It creates a government program, using guidelines for Medicaid, to subsidize health insurance coverage with federal taxpayer dollars and taxpayer dollars from state and county funds. So, beyond federal funds pulled in using the Medicaid framework, the bill would have the state levy special assessments on hospitals to subsidize the coverage for up to nearly a half-million people.

Actually, the more one learns about this Republican proposal, the more it seems like the Medicaid expansion Democrats have been pushing in this state for years.

From WRAL on H.B. 655:

“The program would cost $4.7 billion a year, but the federal Medicaid program would cover 90 percent of the cost. The rest would be paid for by provider fees, insurer taxes and premiums and co-pays. Lambeth said there would be no added cost to state taxpayers, adding that the state is basically paying for such services in other states already. […]”

And again:

“House Republicans on Wednesday rolled out their own version of Medicaid expansion – don’t call it that! – that they say will not only close the gap in coverage for thousands of low-income working adults but will also provide needed money to struggling rural hospitals.”

If it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck…well, you know the rest.

So, it seems as if we won’t have to wait until 2020 to see if Democrats will retake the majority in either chamber of the N.C. General Assembly. If Republicans are now pushing a government program for subsidized health coverage; one that amounts to Medicaid expansion; one that rests on the premise that government should play an active role in financing healthcare; then, the Democrats have clearly already won.

So much for limited government and personal responsibility – the government is here to safe the day! But this time it’s different, these Republicans say. This time it’s a gaggle of Republican politicians again falling for, and pushing the fatal conceit that more government intervention is the answer to healthcare problems.

What do you think would be a better, more conservative approach to tackling healthcare cost issues:

More, slightly different, government healthcare programs; or, actually working to get government regulations and handouts out of healthcare?

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