McCrory can pivot on healthcare

by YES! Staff

What you don’t know about Obamacare, AKA the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, might surprise you.

Forget death panels, which aren’t real. Forget the mantle of “socialized medicine,” which Obamacare most certainly is not. Forget cuts to Medicare, which are not happening, and the path to bankruptcy for small business, which is not part of the plan.

What’s real is that, in addition to increased participation in the private health-insurance sector, states must provide a healthcare exchange for their citizens in 2013 or have the federal government do it for them.

We posit that a real conservative would honor the law of the land.

A few states have already opted for the latter — generally those with low education levels and ideologically driven governments  who are reacting against a duly passed law with impotent defiance and immaturity. North Carolina, which missed the first Nov. 16 deadline for outlining a state plan, has ap-plied for a third option, a hybrid state-federal  exchange, which should help gain insurance for the 1.5 million or so North Carolinians who currently do without.

The healthcare exchange is not government takeover of the system. It is a marketplace, usually a website, that allows individuals and small businesses access to a large insurance pool — the kind that state employees already enjoy — bringing down costs.

Our state currently has the fourth-highest insurance rates in the country, with the average family paying $13,504 a year.

The decision to partner with the federal government was made by lame-duck Gov. Bev Perdue, who will hand her seat over to Gov.-elect Pat McCrory in a couple months. McCrory campaigned in a fairly staunch manner against all things Obama, and made his distaste for the president’s healthcare plan known.

The question is, which McCrory will take office in January — the former Charlotte mayor who advocated for all citizens under his watch, or the partisan GOP mouthpiece who toed the teaparty line to secure his nomination and election?

McCrory has been quiet thus far on the issue, though other Republicans in the NC General Assembly have taken Perdue to task for making this commitment, though she has said it leaves the door open for McCrory to either go with a state plan, defer to the federal government or stay the course for the co-op program.

NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, who has won re-election, has already applied for federal grant money — about $75 million — to set up this exchange. And once McCrory takes office, he has until Feb. 15 to ultimately decide if North Carolina will take part in its own healthcare system or kick it back to the federal government.

What’s a conservative to do? We posit that a real conservative would honor the law of the land and cherish the state’s purview here by making health insurance more affordable for the people of his state.

And now that the election is over, we hope that McCrory will do his part to dispel the myths about Obamacare that helped get him elected in November.

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