By Abbi Overfelt
October 16, 2013
I have a different view of the higher healthcare premiums because of the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — than Congressman Richard Hudson on the opinion page of Tuesday’s Laurinburg Exchange.
It does not surprise me that costs in North Carolina are higher, because our Republican Governor and Republican-led legislature want it that way. They turned down the opportunity to work out a state program where they could have dealt with several insurance companies for the best benefit to North Carolinians, and opted instead to use the Federal program which, obviously, wouldn’t know as much about the state’s insurance industry.
Our Republicans also turned down billions of dollars annually of virtually free Medicaid money, which means several hundred thousand residents who would have received Medicaid are going to the Affordable Care Act for free healthcare, since they are the poorer and elderly-poor among us. This ends up making plans costlier for the rest of us — the ideal is enrolling younger and healthier, not poorer and elderly, to get lower premiums.
There are several states that took a proactive approach to the act, and to Medicaid, and are seeing great benefits for their residents. Republican-led states and the Republican U.S. Congress are the ones to blame when you see your insurance premiums rise because that is what they want to happen — it means more money for insurance executives.