“Time for Idling is over”

So says Victor Dzau, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Duke University Health System. By idling, he means that it is time for North Carolina to stop waiting and to start moving ahead with Medicaid expansion and to set up a state-run health insurance exchange under the auspices of the Affordable Care Act. As Dr. Dzau says of an exchange:

That path should be for an insurance exchange run solely by the state, which would give much greater control and oversight to state leaders. Some in the General Assembly have been reluctant to move forward. But the fact is, much of the required planning has already been done by North Carolina’s departments of Insurance and Health and Human Services, aided by the guidance and insight of the N.C. Institute of Medicine and in close cooperation with our state’s health care leaders.

Incoming Gov. Pat McCrory should build on that effort with great urgency and resist any political pressure to cede the state’s responsibility for running the exchange to the federal government.

Coupled with Bill Roper’s long standing general support for moving ahead with the ACA (he is head of UNC Health Care, and a Republican) I think the pressure to move ahead and expand Medicaid and begin to develop a state-based health insurance exchange is going to start to build. And a general rule in North Carolina is that if Duke and UNC are for something, it is just a matter of time.

About Don Taylor
Associate Professor of Public Policy at Duke University and author of Balancing the Budget is a Progressive Priority. On twitter @donaldhtaylorjr

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