The Office of the Governor of the State of North Carolina

01/22/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/23/2021 00:30

NC Council on Health Care Coverage Meets to Finalize Guiding Principles to Increase Health Care Coverage for North Carolinians

The North Carolina Council on Health Care Coverage held its last meeting today to finalize principles to help guide Governor Roy Cooper and legislative leaders as they consider options to increase affordable and comprehensive health coverage for North Carolinians. Governor Cooper provided closing remarks at the meeting.

The Council is convened by the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, which is led by Dr. Mark McClellan. Council members include bipartisan members of the General Assembly and representatives from a variety of sectors including business, nonprofit, and health care.

Since beginning its work in December, the Council has heard from a variety of experts on issues such as Medicaid expansion, access to behavioral health services, and options for private insurance market reform. The group has also examined the impact that the lack of coverage has had on businesses and employees in the state. During its meeting on January 8th, Council Members worked collaboratively developing draft guiding principles that were considered at the final meeting.

'The principles approved by the Council will serve as a strong foundation that we can build upon as we work to increase access to health coverage in our state,' said Governor Cooper. 'I look forward to working with legislative leaders in the months ahead to develop specific solutions that can help get coverage to the more than 1.2 million North Carolinians who don't have it today.'

The principles approved by the Council today included maximizing health coverage, ensuring program simplicity, enhancing the health of North Carolina, and ensuring health system sustainability. The group also highlighted the importance of the efficient use of taxpayer dollars, strengthening rural communities, reducing disparities, expanding access to and coverage of behavioral health services, and supporting the business community. The full list of final principles as well as a summary of the Council's work will be compiled into a final report by the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. The guiding principles will be shared with members of the North Carolina General Assembly and other leaders across the state.

'The diversity of perspectives and experiences that Council Members have brought to this process has been key to its success,' said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. 'I appreciate the commitment and hard work of the Council Members and I am confident that these guiding principles will serve as an important roadmap as we address the urgent health care needs in our state.'

Members of the media can access meeting materials at:

https://healthpolicy.duke.edu/projects/north-carolina-council-health-care-coverage.

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