Health Reform

Can someone explain the thinking behind "open enrollment" periods?

This has bothered me for a long time: What's the rationale for having pre-established periods during which customers can buy health insurance? It's not just related to ACA. Annual enrollment deadlines have been with us forever, forcing a frenzy of decision-making that seems to make no sense.

What America needs is universal healthcare where "enrollment" is equal to being born. The rest of the bureaucracy is nothing but bullshit designed to enrich private companies, while adding no discernible value to society.

Skin cancer

Skin cancer sucks, even in its mildest early stages. Between doctor visits, ointments, creams and cutting, there's nothing to like about it except for the fact that it's not brain or liver cancer. But you know what would suck even more? Skin cancer with no insurance.

I've been lucky. I was able to see a doctor early and often, staying ahead of the disease. Without insurance, I might be well my way to dead right now.

More than 1.5 million adults in North Carolina have no health insurance. With an incidence rate of 30% for skin cancer, that means more than 450,000 uninsured citizens would be diagnosed if they somehow managed to see a doctor. But they won't see a doctor. They can't afford to.

The ACA on Trial

The Affordable Care Act (or ACA) has been challenged by dozens of states, in multiple ways, all over the country. The law remains unpopular among the public and loathed by Republican politicians, who have pledged that repeal will be their first order of business if given power in 2012. Implementation is proceeding jerkily, in part because many states are waiting till the legal and political uncertainty clears to commit to the law.

Next Monday, the Supreme Court will begin hearing three days of oral arguments addressing various questions of legal procedure and legality which will ultimately decide the fate of the ACA, and millions of Americans along with it.

Join Action NC at for a lively discussion about the future of the Affordable Care Act in light of the Supreme Court challenge and the polarized political environment in which we live on Monday, March 26 at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, starting at noon.

The ACA on Trial: What is the future of health reform?

Mar 26 2012 12:00 pm
Mar 26 2012 2:00 pm

Join Action NC at for a lively discussion about the future of the Affordable Care Act in light of the Supreme Court challenge and the polarized political environment in which we live on Monday, March 26 at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, starting at noon.

Professor Gene Nichol, Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina and Congressman Brad Miller will lead a discussion moderated by Adam Searing of the North Carolina Justice Center about the constitutional challenge to the landmark health reform law and the role of government in meeting needs and promoting fairness.

Discussion to be held at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, 1801 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh on Monday, March 26th starting at noon. Lunch will be served starting at 11:45. This event is free and open the public, but RSVP is required for a meal.

Health reform question from a reader

My insurance company has paid for physical exams in the past and now they are saying that under the new Health Reform they only have to pay for three tests. Is this so?

Another veto in the works? Let's hope so.

Hot off her smackdown of the Art Pope's destructive budget plan, Governor Perdue is apparently inking up her veto stamp to stop an unconstitutional bill to undermine health reform. She's taking her cues from Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Dear Bev: Do you stand by the North Carolina Constitution or not?

There are rumors, Madame Governor, that you don't think vetoing the latest assault on North Carolina's constitutional integrity is worth the trouble. Republicans are seeking to pass legislation that directly and unarguably conflicts with Article 1, Section 5 of the North Carolina Constitution. And you're going to freakin' ignore it?

Sec. 5. Allegiance to the United States.

Every citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of the State in contravention or subversion thereof can have any binding force.

I'm no lawyer, but this would seem to make moot any action being considered by the General Assembly that attempts to undermine Congress' Affordable Care Act. As the Chief Executive of our state, you have a moral and legal obligation to veto this piece-of-crap legislation.

What progressives (and everyone else) should know about the accomplishments of health reform

As we look back on that incredibly difficult debate and begin to see some of the new consumer protections take effect, it's increasingly clear that national leaders did the right thing.

With a handy cheat sheet

Give it up, Cherie. You too, Steve

Adam Linker's headline at Progressive Pulse says it all:

Steve Troxler and Cherie Berry get tax-payer funded health insurance while trying to block health care for all North Carolinians

Heath Shuler and voters in District 11

I was completely caught up in the moment on Tuesday, March 23, when President Obama signed the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” and later when he thanked a larger crowd who had worked to make it happen. I was struck by the real joy reflected on many tired faces, the child-like exuberance in the room – feelings that only occur after a long struggle and when success is at hand.

Though I felt a part of the celebrations as a citizen of the United States, I was deeply saddened that Western North Carolina did not have their official representative present. Now I know some are happy about that, but I am not. I felt wiped out as Heath Shuler continued to cast “No” votes against health reform.

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