Healthcare reform needs your voice

Although "healthcare reform" was passed, the state is now making decisions about how North Carolina will respond to the new federal rules. The N.C. General Assembly is considering legislation that would put Blue Cross Blue Shield permanently on a board whose purpose it is to help small businesses and those who cannot afford health insurance. States are required to set up marketplaces where small businesses and people without health insurance [available] through their jobs will shop for coverage. Other seats would be reserved for two more insurance companies, the business community, the state medical society and the hospital association.

The industry-sponsored bill (HB 115), introduced by Rep. Jerry Dockham, a Republican from Denton who until last year owned an insurance agency, would give Blue Cross a permanent seat on the marketplace's governing board. This would perch Blue Cross in a powerful profitable position permanently. This should not happen. Citizens who have been affected by the high price of insurance or medical problems should have at least one seat on this board.

It is time to start pushing for change on the state level. North Carolina has one of the strongest insurance lobbies in the country. Don't let them benefit even more by others' misfortunes while they deliver minimal to no benefits. A phone call or letter can make a difference. Go to this site,, to find out who represents you on a state level and how to contact them.

— Kathy Kyle

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