Local News

Special Session Ends With Insurance Plan Approved

Posted April 29, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Health care will no longer be out of reach for about 60,000 of North Carolina's uninsured children. The State House has approved a plan to cover children of the working poor, bringing to an end the six week special session that was only expected to take two days.

The bill was passed by an overwhelming majority in the Senate Wednesday night, and again Thursday morning in the House, but the compromised version of the bill didn't come until after weeks of disagreement. The House vote was 99 to 12.

The bill includes a $100 enrollment fee, small co-payments and a temporary 6-month waiting period. It also includes tax credits for families who choose to keep their private insurance and who have incomes of less that $100,000 a year.

Rep. Robert Hensley, (D, Wake County), says he doesn't think the bill goes far enough.

Rep. Charlotte Gardner, (R, Rowan County), says you can't please everyone, but she thinks it's a good bill.

Another vote was taken Thursday morning to adjourn the special session. That vote was unanimous.

The legislature returns for its regular short session May 11. They could amend the health care bill at that time, but they have many other issues to tackle. The health care bill needs to be completed and sent to the federal government by October.