An Asheville Citizens-Times editorial rightly asks how Republican Senate leaders can refuse to participate in any aspect of “Obamacare” and yet still claim to be “committed to ensuring every North Carolinian receives the highest-quality health care and outcomes” (direct quote from Senate press release). The Citizen-Times notes the high uninsured rates in the home counties of chief sponsors of Senate Bill 4, which prohibits any state involvement in the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion.
For the record, Apodaca represents Henderson and Buncombe counties. The latest figures show 20.9 percent of Buncombe’s population is uninsured, and 21.6 percent of Henderson’s. Macon, Davis’ base, has an uninsured rate of 24.8 percent. Hise’s Mitchell County has a 19.5 percent rate.
Exactly what would Senate Republicans do to see that every North Carolinian, including the 1.5 million with no insurance, “receives the highest-quality health care and outcomes”? The news release is silent on that point.
The Citizen-Times is asking the right questions. Just how does refusal to participate in any aspect of health reform help the citizens of North Carolina: the 1.6 million uninsured, struggling rural hospitals that will soon lose extra payments for uncompensated care, and the entire community, which pays for inefficiently delivered care to the uninsured, and suffers from the loss of a healthy workforce.