Update: Changes to UNC Health Care

UNC students can now opt out of health care coverage for abortions, an option not possible less than a week ago. After numerous pro-life students and activists spoke out, the UNC system is changing the details of the new coverage plan. Fellow Civitas blogger Jason Sutton covered the divisive issue earlier this week responding to the plan’s information going public.

The N&O reported:

Starting in fall 2010…a new health insurance policy kicks in , mandating that all students at UNC system campuses, about 215,000 people, have health insurance. Students must either prove they have their own, or buy insurance through a new plan designed to leverage the system’s buying power to offer reasonable premiums and better coverage than most campuses do now on their own.

Students for Life of America quickly pointed out that the mandatory plan covered elective abortions, something not agreeable to pro-life students. In response to the nationally publicized issue, the UNC system announced this afternoon that it will allow students to opt out of elective abortion coverage. However, the system has yet to comment on whether students who opt out of abortion coverage will pay less for their total health care plan.

While this may be a relative gain for pro-lifers, what I want to know is why a public university system is mandating that students purchase health care from their pre-approved provider? Aren’t most college students over the age of 18 and therefore, adults? Sounds like Obamacare has a test case in the UNC System.

ABC Privatization Debate Forthcoming?

Per a News & Observer report, the chairman of the North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Commission (ABC) Jon Williams expects a debate on whether to privatize liquor sales in our state.  The Commission continues to assess what the system is worth.

Recently, ethics issues within the state’s archaic liquor distribution system have arisen in GreensboroNew Hanover County and in Mecklenburg County.  Furthermore, a Program Evaluation Division Report, which can be found here, outlines a list of problems facing the ABC System which could be solved through privatization.  Recently, I wrote about Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s (R) desire to privatize the liquor system in his state.

It is good to hear that a debate on privatization of the archaic system is forthcoming.  According to a February 2010 Civitas poll, the people favor privatization by a 47%-37% margin.