Governor Easley and the NC House put forward budgets that expanded health coverage for children in North Carolina. The proposals call for sliding scale premiums for kids in families between 200% and 300% federal poverty level to allow their parents to buy an affordable plan. Although the current proposals don’t allow it, advocates are pushing for all families, regardless of income, to be allowed to buy into this plan at full premium cost (so there is no extra cost to the state). This would mean all NC families have an affordable public health coverage option if they can’t buy private insurance.
Now rumor is that the NC Senate, as it grinds through its budget deliberations, is simply cutting even the limited affordable coverage program. At a cost of only $4 million the first year and $7 million the second, there are few other budget items that will do more good for families.
It’s almost inconceivable that the NC Senate – rather than considering expanding care for children – now looks like they will not give any option for the thousands of hardworking families who can’t now afford coverage for their kids. Guess that sort of coverage is simply seen as a political chip in the great budget debate between the Democrats in the House and the Democrats in the Senate.
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