December 16, 2020
Governor Cooper established the NC Council for Health Care Coverage. The first meeting of this bipartisan group was held on December 4th. Governor Cooper has designated the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy as the staff for the Council. The Council members heard presentations from leaders who discussed Medicaid expansion, COVID-19, uninsured and health inequities. An article in NC Political News included a quote from Senator Joyce Krawiec (R, Davie Forsyth), a member of the Council, “To be honest, I was a little disappointed to see that we’re starting with Medicaid expansion, because it has been such a controversial topic. So I am glad that we’re moving on to other things. We know that in order to increase access, we need to find ways to reduce costs.” Her comments were not unlike the insights she offered at the Central Regional Advocacy Institute (see story) this past fall when she stated the need to focus on issues of access to health and behavioral health care services and workforce issues.
The formation of the Council is likely a strategic move on the part of the Governor to have a venue where issues around the insurance coverage gap can be discussed and to get that discussion started prior to the beginning of the legislative long session. The membership includes key House and Senate leaders along with other stakeholders.
The next meeting of the Council is on Friday, December 18th. Members of the public are welcome to listen in. More information can be found at the link above.