NC HEALTH REPORT: Take Action - NC Slashes Health Programs; National Reform Needed Now!

May 29, 2009

By Adam Searing

NORTH CAROLINA PROPOSING MASSIVE CUTS TO CURRENT HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS: The NC budget is facing a $4.6 billion deficit this year. NC House budget writers are proposing $3.8 billion in cuts over the next two years. Here are a few of the most harmful cuts from the official document:
  • Closing NC Health Choice, affordable health coverage for children of working parents, to new families who wish to sign up, even those newly unemployed.
  • Slashing funding to Community Care of NC, the award-winning health program for kids and families that keeps patients at their family doctors and out of the emergency room.
  • Tens of millions from mental health services and health care payments to providers -- making mental health care and all other health care much more difficult to access.
If this isn't bad enough, over $1.4 billion (37%) of these cuts aren't even defined. The General Assembly is passing the buck to the governor to decide where further massive health cuts should be.
TAKE ACTION - EMAIL GOVERNOR AND YOUR STATE LEGISLATOR: Tell them not to balance the budget with cuts alone. We must also raise revenue (as the NC Senate and Governor have proposed). Don't let House budget writers devastate our state health system and economy.  Take Action Now.
PRESIDENT OBAMA - TIME FOR NATIONAL HEALTH REFORM IS NOW OR NEVER: Yesterday President Obama asked supporters of health reform to join him in pushing for change. He said, "If we don't get it done this year, we're not going to get it done." Our own NC Blue Cross and other enemies of health reform continue to try and block the change we need. It's time to act and here's what we can do:
  • TAKE ACTION - Visit Obama's website on health reform and sign up to register your support for national reform. You can also find out about meetings and house parties pushing for change. 
  • TAKE ACTION - Contact US Senator Kay Hagan toll free (1-877-852-9462). Check out her website to find out when to see her in person. Tell her that: 1. We need reform that includes a public plan option so we don't have to deal with NC Blue Cross if we don't want to, and 2. Quality health plans -- public or private -- need to be affordable for working North Carolinians.
  • GET INVOLVED - See our NC Health Report newsletter from this week for more information about our small business health reform roundtable, local evening meetings on health care and the budget, and tons of information about what's going on and how to get involved. See our blog for daily updates on health care reform and the budget.
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