Opinion

Opinion

Editorial: Burr and Tillis; Hit the road and listen to what N.C.'s health care needs are

Posted June 28

Senators come back to Washington Monday afternoon after having a full weekend to get their heads around GOP leadership's health care bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants a vote on his health care legislation before Congress leaves for a July 4 recess at the end of this week.

A CBC Editorial: Wednesday, June 28, 2017; Editorial # 8179
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

Is there any good reason why North Carolina’s two senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, would vote for the so-called “Better Health Care Act,” the Republican leadership’s effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act?

Is it because:

  • It would take health insurance away from a staggering 1.3 million North Carolinians – more than 10 percent of the state’s population?
  • It would cause an INCREASE -- instead of a promised cut -- in health insurance premiums over the next two years?
  • An estimated 700,000 would lose coverage in the private insurance market – the third-worst in the nation for losses in that market?
  • The state’s private insurance market would lose $500 million in premium cost-sharing assistance that lowers premiums for working North Carolinians.
  • Toeing the party line in Washington is more important than the health and well-being of North Carolina citizens?

The reality is that the more people learn about the Senate’s plan, the less they like it. Why? They also understand that the Senate replacement plan is more about a tax cut for those who don’t need it than health care for those who need it most.

That became obvious Tuesday afternoon. Just as Republican senators were to march down Pennsylvania Avenue for a White House pep-talk with President Donald Trump, the vote on the bill was postponed until AFTER Congress’ July 4 recess.

We see that as good news. Between now and July 10th when the senators return to Washington, there will be plenty of time for them to talk with everyday North Carolinians about the plan and what they really think.

Here are some basics Burr, Tillis and the North Carolina Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives who voted to repeal Obamacare need to face:

  • While not quite half of the state’s voters support Obamacare, merely 35 percent want it repealed and replaced by the plan that passed the House.
  • Not even half of those who voted for Trump last fall support the plan passed by the House.
  • Fifty-three percent of independent voters say they’re less likely to back reelection of an incumbent who supported the House plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Don’t doubt for a minute that Tillis, who will be running for his Senate seat again in 2020, isn’t aware of those numbers. It’s probably why he’s yet to stake out a position on the Senate bill. “I look forward to carefully reviewing the draft legislation over the next several days,” he said in a statement.

Burr, who says he isn’t seeking re-election, quickly came out in support of the Senate plan. “This draft legislation outlines a number of initiatives that are good for North Carolina,” Burr said.

Burr may be reconsidering. Republican senators are being flooded with calls, emails and messages via social media in opposition to the Senate health care plan.

With the recess, it is an opportunity for Burr and Tillis to get out and around North Carolina – holding public forums, town hall sessions and round-table discussions.

Not only should it be an opportunity to find out just how their constituents feel about the Senate’s plan – but also a chance for the senators to explain themselves and answer this basic question:

  • Why is it OK to cut off health insurance for 1.3 million North Carolinians who have it today?
6 Comments

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  • Chris Perdue Jun 28, 10:20 a.m.
    user avatar

    If nothing is done the current system is going to collapse. Has been happening for two years as carriers are losing big money in the individual market. And Medicare and Medicaid are totally unfunded for the future, and the amount owed is growing everyday. We are 20 trillion in debt now--if we don't try to curb costs then eventually all of our paid taxes will be going to service the interest on the debt. Remember, in Washington a decrease in the rate of spending is considered a "cut"--so even if they spend the same next year as this year, it is considered a "draconian" cut. And this goes for all spending, across the board. As interest rates begin to increase, that 20 trillion in debt in going to grow much faster as well. Everyone is talking about people dying in the streets if Medicaid is "cut"--I don't remember all of these people dying in the streets before ACA medicaid expansion. Has the death rate plummeted the last several years and not been reported?

  • Larry Price Jun 28, 10:13 a.m.
    user avatar

    there's another thing that you'll hear from the 'silent majority'. don't mess with long term health care for the elderly coverage in Medicaid.

  • Wayne Hill Jun 28, 8:28 a.m.
    user avatar

    Hello Honorable Senators Tillis and Burr, the silent majority says:
    1) REPEAL OBAMACARE!
    2) RETURN TO WHAT WE HAD BEFORE OBAMACARE!
    3) COLLECT BREATH DO THE LIMITED AMoUNT OF MEDICARE REFORM NEEDED.
    4) LEARN VALUABLE LESSON, ONCE A BENFIT IS GIVEN IT CANNOT BE RESCINDED. SO.................YOU ARE NOW STUCK WITH ALLOWING THE COVERING OF "CHILDREN?" TO THE AGE OF 27 AND FORCING THE COVERAGE OF THE UNINSURABLE.

    Also, please take a security detail with you, if you are crazy enough to choose doing a town hall. We have seen the left is a murderous lot. Those people represent the hysterical vocal minority, the silent majority is at work.

  • Teddy Fowler Jun 28, 7:21 a.m.
    user avatar

    Where were you at when Obamacare was being discussed? We sure could have used your gloom and doom tactics back then....

  • Michael Bawden Jun 28, 6:26 a.m.
    user avatar

    "Tax cug for the rich" mantra. Liberal speak and outright lie. ANYONE that was paying for insurance prior to OBAMACARE saw their "taxes" triple when premiums tripled. OBAMACARE cancelled MILLIONS of policies because the policies they had did not cover pregnancy or transgender operations. Deductibles skyrocketed. Doctors refused ACA policies. Paperwork overwhelmed the "mom.and pop" doctors and conglomerations were formed. People lost their doctors. Bottom line, those that were already contributing by purchasing insurance were shafted by Obamacare. Most of the "rich" liberals refer to dont lurcase health insurance. Repeal Obamacare completely. Let the states choose how they want to deal with healthcare. Massachusetts did it!

  • William Sherman Jun 28, 5:21 a.m.
    user avatar

    Amazing isnt it? I mean the bill itself is not even written yetaand all ready the liberal/leftist Democratic rags are predictilng gloom and doom if Obama Care is repealed and repoaced. Imagine how it must feel to receive the power of divination simply by belonging to the losing side in the last election....