October 16, 2017/Press

Where Are Berger, Moore, Commissioner Causey & NC GOP on Health Care Sabotage?

Raleigh – President Trump furthered his sabotage of the NC health insurance marketplace last week by ending cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments for health care plans, a move that will drive up costs and raise premiums for more than 300,000 North Carolinians, cause more insurers to withdraw from marketplaces and increase the number of uninsured next year.

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Michelle Osborne said the move “is not something that’s going to greatly impact us,” despite it raising premiums for more than 300,000 North Carolinians. Blue Cross NC announced in May that threats to CSRs are the driving factor behind their rate hikes.

Meanwhile, every other GOP leader stayed silent – continuing their refusal to even comment as our health care system is undermined and consumers face higher out-of-pocket costs:

  • No Word from GOP Leaders on the Executive Order Ending CSRs, Which Will Raise Premiums For 300,000 Consumers. USA Today: “Trump’s move will lead to higher premiums for middle class consumers he’s vowed to protect.”
  • No Word from GOP Leaders on the Executive Order Undermining Insurance Rules. Vox: “Trump wants to open more loopholes for more people to buy insurance outside the health care law’s markets, which experts anticipate would destabilize the market for customers who are left behind with higher premiums and fewer insurers.”
  • No Word from GOP Leaders on Blue Cross NC Dropping Mission Hospital, Which Forced Higher Out-of-Network Costs for 260,000 people in Western NC. Asheville Citizen-Times: “the about 260,000 people with Blue Cross NC insurance in Western North Carolina will face higher ‘out-of-network’ charges if they get care from a Mission hospital, physician or other Mission-owned health care facility.”
  • No Word from GOP Leaders on Premium Hikes for Retired State Employees. News & Observer: “Health insurance premiums go up for state employees, teachers and some retirees next year, as the state ends its tradition of offering at least one insurance plan at no monthly charge.”
  • No Word from GOP Leaders After Morehead Memorial Hospital Declares Bankruptcy in Berger’s Backyard. WUNC: “Another reason for the bankruptcy filing: Medicaid reimbursements have been declining. [Morehead’s president and CEO Dana] Weston said that disproportionately hurts a rural facility like Morehead Hospital.” Berger previously said there is “no good case” to be made for Medicaid expansion in NC.
  • No Word from GOP Leaders on Looming Shortfall for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). New York Times: “By the end of this year, Arizona, Minnesota and North Carolina are likely to run out of money for their programs, according to the panel, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission.”

“North Carolina consumers are facing higher premiums and increased out-of-pocket costs as Republican policies sabotage our health care system, yet every Republican leader refuses to even comment,” NCDP Chair Wayne Goodwin said. “Commissioner Causey, Senator Berger, and Speaker Moore are silent because they support President Trump and his dangerous health care agenda – even if it means higher costs for North Carolina.”

###