NC GOP's anti-Obamacare obsession threatens autism coverage

Who said lapel pins couldn't make a difference?

In 2013, the state House passed a bill that would have required insurance companies to offer coverage for autism-related services. That measure stalled in the Senate but would be eligible for the "short" legislative session, which begins on Wednesday.

In the interim, a committee appointed to study the state's response to the Affordable Care Act crafted a two-pronged bill. One part of that measure would require insurers to display the added cost of the Affordable Care Act on people's insurance bills. The other part of the measure would commit the state to not imposing any new insurance mandates – requirements for coverage – for two years, starting in 2015.

Proving once again, it doesn't matter what (little) good the NC House can accomplish, if the power-hungry Republicans in the NC Senate refuse to act on it. And you know why they do this? Because it sends a clear message to all the lobbyists and wealthy businessmen just exactly where their campaign contributions need to be spent, if they want something done. In case you're wondering about the "lapel pins" reference:

Word in the legislative hallways was that that top House leaders, including Speaker Thom Tillis, did not want to force their members to vote for a bill that would anger those in the autism community. Tillis has worn a lapel pin featuring the logo for Autism Speaks in a campaign commercial, and it is an issue he appears ready to use during his U.S. Senate campaign.

But voting against the bill would mean voting against the state's response to the Affordable Care Act, what some call "Obamacare."

"That's a difficult position for a lot of my colleagues," said Rep. Charles Jeter, R-Mecklenburg.

That's because a lot of your colleagues are assholes have banked their entire political future on attacking something that helps people. Being a one-trick pony can entertain a lot of people for a short period of time, or a handful of idiots indefinitely, but it won't allow you to keep your elected seat for very long.

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Insurers

could voluntarily print the amount of savings to the nation and the ACA's contribution to deficit reduction on the insurance bills if they so chose.

After all the people they've harmed by imposing stupid policies just to prove that they hate, hate, hate Obamacare, it's kind of fitting that they've sort of painted themselves into a corner with it. "Voted against autism coverage" not only harms more people, it makes for a nice thing to have painted across the idiots' foreheads.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Bill is now on life support

The committee considering this bill failed for a third time to obtain a quorum.

A joint legislative committee studying the state's response to the federal Affordable Care Act failed Wednesday morning for the third time in two days to get enough of its 46 members together to pass a bill dealing with insurance mandates.That's despite the fact some lawmakers thought they had reached a compromise Tuesday night.

"I think any time you have three committee meetings in a row where people don't show up, that's probably an organized effort," said Rep. Charles Jeter, R-Mecklenburg.

Unless someone pulls a parliamentary maneuver such as gutting the contents of an eligible bill to put in the contents of this bill, then the "state's response to the Affordable Care Act" is dead.

However, Wednesday's failure does not necessarily kill the bill. Senate and House committees have been known to refashion measures that have already passed one chamber or another and re-purpose them. Such as "gut and amend" procedure could allow the mandate moratorium to move forward despite those rules.

As it should be. The appropriate state response to the Affordable Care Act would be to set up a state exchange and expand Medicaid, not ban coverage for autism.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Thom needs this bill

What they REALLY want out of it is to force insurance companies to tell consumers what the portion of their insurance cost "due to Obamacare" is. That's pretty much Thom's entire platform (see Feb. 26 entry at BackwardNC).

Tillisberger will be happy to exempt the moratorium part if they get their propaganda part.

Thom needs to point to something to scream at about Obamacare costs, especially since the CBO issued an updated report showing that Obamacare saves more money than originally estimated and reduces the federal deficit.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014