Perdue on health care: 'We can't just do more'

Posted February 7, 2011

Gov. Bev Perdue opened her lunch speech at the Emerging Issues Forum today with a joke about the menu.

Perdue said she was having lunch with a group of men when she noticed that not one bite of any dessert had been eaten. "I said, 'What is going on?'” By way of answering, NC Biotech Center CEO Norris Tolson handed her a menu card that said the chocolate flourless cake had more than 500 calories.

“I know now how to pare down the cost of dinner at the mansion,” Perdue laughed. “Just tell ‘em how many calories are in it.”

But the subject area of the governor’s speech was no laughing matter: the growing cost of health care and the graying of the state’s population. Thirteen percent of North Carolina’s population is 65 or older today, she said. By 2020, it will be 18 percent, and it’s expected to keep rising for the next 30 years.

“Thirty-seven of 100 counties today have more people who are over 60 than under 17,” Perdue said By 2030, it’s expected to be 71 out of the state’s 100 counties. “That is a huge demographic and social shift for North Carolina.”

Perdue spoke about the rising costs of chronic diseases as lifespans increase, saying that controlling those costs will require better personal choices by patients, and a more efficient, better-coordinated system for health care delivery.

“We all know we can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing,” she told the audience of health care and public policy experts from around the country. “We can’t just do more. We can’t pay for more.”

The governor touted the state’s track record of innovation in biotech and medical research and said North Carolina had just received a $2 million federal grant for an IT system that would help check for adverse interactions between drugs prescribed for a patient by different doctors.

She also mentioned the state’s new software system, designed to flag suspicious claims that could signal Medicaid fraud. She says it’s already found more than $53 million in recoverable claims in more than 1,200 cases, including a provider in Sparta who billed for services to scores of dead patients.

Perdue wrapped up by thanking the forum attendees for their work on improving health care policy and practice. “On behalf of the 9.5 million people that call this state home, you’re going to make a difference in their lives,” she said, “and I thank you."


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • driverkid3 Feb 9, 2011

    kdavis, it's not necessarily true that the cost is too high, it's who is being covered too. We have a huge population if illegals here, and they can get coverage. With the economy as bad as it is, people are STILL having kids they can't afford, dropping them into the medicaid basket. Yet, the only group that is mentioned is the elderly. Those are the people that have paid into this system all their lives, now they are being pushed to the side. Just take a look at who Bev and obama favor in this mess, and you will have the answer.

  • kdavis23 Feb 7, 2011

    The bottom line, health care is just too high. Insurace companies are charging lots more than they should so dont yhink we are to stupid to think something cant be done. Obamacare certainly will not fix it. WAKE UP LADY.