State News

Complaints about health costs dominate reform meeting

Posted March 31, 2009

— North Carolina citizens struggling with health care decisions expressed their frustrations Tuesday to Gov. Beverly Perdue and the Obama administration.

About 800 people, including physicians, patients, insurers, health advocates and business owners, attended the regional health care reform meeting at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. The meeting is one of five meetings being held nationwide to collect ideas on ways to improve the U.S. health care system and make quality insurance affordable to all Americans.

Complaints about health costs dominate reform meeting Meeting addresses health care reform

More than a fifth of non-elderly North Carolinians is uninsured, according to a recent report by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. Also, a Families USA study found nearly 87 million Americans have gone without health insurance at some point in the last two years.

"Few challenges we face are as complex and consequential as fixing our health care system. That's why reforming health care is a top priority for my administration," President Barack Obama told attendees in a videotaped message.

Regional health care reform meeting Web only: Health concerns aired

Frank Amend of Rocky Mount said his insurance costs went through the roof after he lost his job before undergoing heart bypass surgery. Charlotte newspaper publisher Gerald Johnson said he must decide whether to cut health insurance or lay people off after premiums rose 24 percent last year.

White House health reform director Nancy-Ann DeParle said Americans with insurance are paying $900 a year to provide coverage for uninsured people.

“I’m glad the president is actually gathering input from regular citizens," said Jim Murray, Southeast chairman for the American Cancer Society. "There’s a lot of policy elements, but the human element of this is obviously very important as well.”

Dr. Bill Roper, dean of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and a member of former President Ronald Reagan's administration, said solutions are needed quickly.

"We are paying an immense amount of money for the care of all Americans. We’re just not spending it very smartly," Roper said. "We’re not spending it wisely, and that’s what we need to do – take some of the money wasted on me and pay for your health care, if you don’t have it.

"We've got to find a way to do this smartly, and I believe for the first time in a long time we're coming together in the middle of the political spectrum to do some sensible things that long have needed to be done," he said.

DeParle said issues raised at the meeting were similar to those heard at other regional events. The Obama administration hopes to use the ideas to craft a health care reform bill that Congress will pass by the end of the year.

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  • ncguy Apr 2, 2009

    Remember people she is on State health insurance.

    If the state health care goes up just tax the people some more.

    401 K not doind so well for your pension fund- no problem just tax the people some more.

    if the state ran like a business they would be bankrupt!!

  • ohmygosh Apr 1, 2009

    Let's see how this is going to work. You're going to add 30 million new patients and government is going to manage it. How in the world does anybody think it is going to cost you less than now? It is a given that such a gov't plan will have these added people pay nothing. The various special interests will not end up loosing anything either.

    It is just another redistribute the wealth plan to get more votes.

    Maybe my upbringing is passe but we were taught that providing for your and your family was your responsiblity. That included food, shelter and health.

    Oh, I get it. Just pass another law that ignores fiscal reality.

  • gccmp Mar 31, 2009

    And while everyone keeps fighting about who voted for who and what's fair health care for everyone, the crooks in our State Senate and Blue Cross Blue Shield and just smiling. As long as we all keep focusing on personal beliefs that we all are entitled to have, the crooks continue to rack up and take advantage of us. Even if you are not a State Employee, you should be outraged by what's going on right now with the State and BCBS. It is everyone's tax dollar and BCBS is making out like a bandit and greasing the palms of the legislators in Raleigh along the way. We should all furious over this and demanding it be stopped!

  • EasilyAmused Mar 31, 2009

    "If you don't pay it, with no medicine you end up totally disabled and living off the system. You do pay it, you end up broke, and living off the system."

    Such is life in many ways unfortunately, like child care. If you stay home with the child, you lose an income. If you go back to work you still lose an income paying for child care and gas so you can work.

    Unfortunately a lot of things are broke and there are no easy answers ...

  • colliedave Mar 31, 2009

    First rule of life: it isn't fair. Second rule of life: nothing comes free. Third rule of life: government creates nothing, it takes from one individual to give to another. Forth rule of life: hard decisions must be made on reason/logic rather than feelings/emotion.

  • whatelseisnew Mar 31, 2009

    I say it is time to start deporting whinny cry-baby Americans. Either take care of yourself or get out.

  • TheLibertine Mar 31, 2009

    Nothing in the Constitution indicates a right to health care. It is a citizen's responsibility to take care of his or her own health. And if you breed 'em and you can't feed 'em or take care of their healthcare needs, tough! I'm so tired of having to subsidize the poor choices of others because I had enough sense to get an education, get a job, and keep one. The only healthcare that should be free is for those who have served in the military -- for them, I say we absolutely owe them something for their trouble.

  • exteacher Mar 31, 2009

    Again, to Johnnyplusthree: please tell us who has proposed free health care to ALL Americans via the Health Dept. (which are still in operation, by the way. In Wake County it is at Wake Med). I don't recall a time in recent history when medical care was FREE at health departments for ALL Americans.

  • A Libertarian Mar 31, 2009

    It has all to do with who you vote for.

    Conservative has pushed and push for free basic healthcare for all US citizens as like the old health departmens which will provider free medical for all US citizens.

    Liberals push for a program that rewards the trial laywers and providers some type of insurance with all kinds of twists and turns.

    You now get the latter!!
    Again, you get what you vote for.

    and if you cannot recall who you voted for, you are either lying or really ignorant!

  • exteacher Mar 31, 2009

    "Just think if you had voted conservative, then ALL medical needs will be fully paid, no questions asked."

    My question for johnnyplusthree: who in the world do you think would be paying for all of your medical needs? The money has to come from somewhere. NOTHING is FREE.
    No questions asked?? You are truly delusional. Please tell us which conservative politician has ever proposed this kind of health care system?

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