By Sam Walker on November 17, 2012
Outgoing Gov. Bev Perdue announced Thursday the state will establish a partnership with the federal government to support implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as “Obamacare.”
Perdue signaled her support of the grant application to begin North Carolina’s health care exchange planning process.
According to a news release, her decision gives North Carolina input and a degree of control over the health care decision-making process and provides greater flexibility for the incoming administration.
Perdue notified Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, legislative leaders and Governor-elect Pat McCrory about her decision to choose the state-federal partnership model for expanded health care.
“North Carolina is moving forward with implementing a process that provides much needed health insurance for every citizen,” Perdue said in the statement.
“It is critical for our state to participate in decisions that affect our state’s citizens,” Perdue said.
“We will not cede total control to the federal government. It remains my goal to pursue a state-based plan,” said Perdue, who did not seek a second term this year.
Under North Carolina Session Law 2011-391, the N.C. Department of Insurance and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services are charged with collaborating and planning in the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
The Department of Insurance is the lead agency in planning North Carolina’s work regarding a Health Insurance Exchange.
Thursday was the deadline for states to submit grant applications for two of the three options available, full state control or a state-federal partnership.
North Carolina missed the opportunity to set up a state-based exchange by 2014, since the legislature did not act on the issue during the last legislative session, said the statement.
North Carolina will collaborate with the U.S. Department of Human Service’s Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight in establishing a Health Insurance Exchange, which the governor said will expand access to health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians.