Gov Perdue Decides on State-Federal Health Exchange

Governor Bev Perdue today said it was her intent to form a state-federal partnership to run a health exchange under Obamacare. It was one of three choices, the others being a state run exchange or letting the federal government run it. She told a press conference she couldn’t speak for Governor elect Pat McCrory but the incoming executive said he had been talking to Perdue about a decision. Perdue said her decision would give the state a say…

Update: Governor elect Pat McCrory released a statement on Perdue’s announcement.

“Governor Perdue’s decision leaves flexibility for North Carolina in the future when it comes to the delivery of health care. I will be discussing this with more governors today, and will continue those discussions in the coming weeks to ensure the best results for North Carolina.”

Update: Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) issued the following response Thursday to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s press conference declaring her intent to establish a state-federal partnership exchange.

“Let’s set the record straight – it is not necessary or appropriate for Gov. Perdue to prematurely declare her intent to establish a state-federal partnership exchange.  The initial deadline for the state to make this declaration is February 15, 2013 – three months from today.  The voters elected a new legislature and governor last week and policy decisions of this magnitude should be left to them.”

Berger said he thinks it was reasonable for Perdue’s administration to apply for federal grants to keep the state’s options open, as long as it does not frivolously spend the tax dollars until the new leaders determine the next steps.

State House Speaker Tom Thillis spokesman Jordan Shaw sent an email with the Speaker’s position on Perdue’s decision.

Speaker Tillis had a conversation with Gov. Perdue about this latest step in a long process.  He looks forward to working with Governor-elect McCrory, Sen. Berger and other officials over the months ahead to make the best decision for North Carolina taxpayers.

That leaves the door open for the new Governor and the legislature to make the final decision on the health exchange and the possible expansion of Medicaid. Legislative leaders said during the last session of the General Assembly they did not want to expand Medicaid. So those decisions will be important priorities when the new session begins in January.

McCrory had not released a statement at the time this was posted. When he does we will update this post.

Healthcare Press Conference…

Maybe this should have been the topic of Mr. Obama’s press conference:

“The last issue I’d like to address is health care the government costs.

Right now, Congress is debating various health care government costreform proposals. This is obviously a complicated issue, but I am very optimistic about the progress that they’re making.

Like energy, this is legislation that must and will be paid for. It will not add to our deficits over the next decade. We will find the money through savings and efficiencies within the health care government system — some of which we’ve already announced.

We will also ensure that the reform we pass brings down the crushing cost of health care government. We simply can’t have a system where we throw good money after bad habits. We need to control the skyrocketing costs that are driving families, businesses, and our government into greater and greater debt.

There’s no doubt that we must preserve what’s best about our health care government system, and that means allowing Americans who like their doctors legislators and their health care tax plans to keep them. But unless we fix what’s broken in our current system, everyone’s health care tax dollars will be in jeopardy. Unless we act, premiums taxes will climb higher, benefits will erode further, and the roles of the uninsured non-taxpayers will swell to include millions more Americans. Unless we act, one three out of every five dollars that we earn will be spent on health care government within a decade. And the amount our government spends on Medicare food and Medicaid entertainment will eventually grow larger than what our government spends on everything else today.

When it comes to health care government, the status quo is unsustainable and unacceptable. So reform is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. And I hope that Congress will continue to make significant progress on this issue in the weeks ahead.”

The transcript in its entirety  can be found here