RALEIGH – It seems that even Governor Roy Cooper couldn’t bring himself to stand in the way of small business owners leveraging scale to procure more affordable health insurance for employees. The Small Business Healthcare Act, Senate Bill 86, has now become law without the governor’s signature.
The Act, which allows small-business owners in similar sectors to join together in associations for the purposes of purchasing group healthcare plans, was ratified by the General Assembly and presented to the governor on August 15. Instead of vetoing the bill, which we’re sure the governor was reflexively itching to do, Cooper did nothing. Under North Carolina law, if the governor does not sign or veto a bill presented to him within 10 days, it becomes law automatically.
The 10 day window has expired, and the Small Business Healthcare Act is now law. Independent business owners and their employees will be better off for it, because now they can get together to achieve economies of scale sufficient to lower the price of health insurance plans. It’s a goal Democrats claim to have been working for while the push expansion of government healthcare, yet is only possible when the government gets out of the way.
Association Healthcare Plans were cleared at the federal level via executive order from President Trump with an assist from U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). Such free market plans were previously banned under Obamacare because they didn’t force enough arbitrary mandates on people.
Cooper didn’t let the window expire without taking disingenuous shots at the plan, however. He voiced concern over whether the plans would cover pre-existing conditions, knwoing full well that the law contains provisions specifically clarifying that any association healthcare plans must comply with federal law regarding such issues.
It is very telling that the best thing Cooper has done for healthcare in North Carolina is, well, inaction. When Cooper and the Democrats — proponents of Big Government — ‘do something’ about healthcare, their policies further wreck the healthcare market; when they literally do nothing, Republicans can put forward free market solutions that actually affect the results all Democrats claim to want.
We’re hoping Cooper applies this ‘do nothing’ practice more often, but we’re not holding our breath.