RALEIGH-- State lawmakers are looking into whether the federal Affordable Care Act is having a negative impact on the state. A new legislative committee began work Tuesday to study the health care law, legislators have differing views on how the ACA's implementation is affecting North Carolina.
“We in North Carolina are now starting to deal with some of the mandates in the bill,” Dr. Jim Fulgham told a legislative committee. Fulgham, a Wake County republican representative, is chairing a newly formed committee to study the ACA in North Carolina.
Several years after it was approved by Congress, ACA is now up and running. North Carolina's republican state leaders said they are wondering if this law aimed at providing health coverage for every American, is actually having some negative effects on the state level.
“Unless you are wrong with at least 50 percent,” said Senator Ron Rabin, a Harnett County Republican. “North Carolina faces an economic armageddon anyhow.”
Lawmakers were given a summary of the law as the first part of its potential year long discussion on the issue. The presentation was made by Dr. Christopher Conover, a Duke University professor and researcher for the conservative American Enterprise Foundation. Conover said overall he believes the Affordable Care Act could lead the country in the wrong direction.
“There are about four losers for every winner with the ACA,” said Conover. “And even if we exclude minimal losers and minimal winners, there are more than two losers for every winner.”
“Will we actually hear from, and have information provided by someone who believes the affordable care act is a good thing?” asked Sen. Floyd McKissick, a Durham County Democrat. “And actually helps us provide services to uninsured people?”
Some legislators said the opinions against ACA were clear, and they wanted to hear from supporters of the law.
Before the meeting started, doctors, families and legislators joined hands to speak to the media and applaud ACA in North Carolina, pointing out what they say are the positives of the plan.
“I can tell you all these people who have now gotten private insurance under the ACA are thankful,” said Dr. Susan Eder.
The divide over the success and potential of the Affordable Care Act is clear and legislators will have to see if there is a common ground on what if any action should be taken in North Carolina regarding the act.
Legislators are not expected to make any recommendations until 2015.