We have told you before that economic experts agree government insurance mandates are one of the biggest drivers of health care costs. But who really pays the price when new state-sanctioned mandates are approved and rates go up? If you listen to much of the rhetoric surrounding the mandate discussion, you could be forgiven for assuming that the providers of insurance foot the bill. In reality, however, insurance providers simply act as intermediaries when mandates raise coverage rates, passing new costs on to their customers – North Carolina’s families and job creators.
When the Council for Affordable Health Insurance released their state rankings on government mandates in 2012, North Carolina had the 14th-most mandated health insurance climate in the nation with 55 state mandates. And despite the fact that each of these mandates carries a significant price tag for job creators of all sizes, the list of continues to grow – now reaching 57 – and new mandate bills continue to be considered by the General Assembly. In a recent News & Observer article, it was estimated that the passage of five pending legislative mandates would cause insurance premiums to rise by an average 16 percent in North Carolina.
Regardless of the exact figures, the fact that government mandates on health coverage cause insurance rates to climb is indisputable, as is the reality that each mandate reduces overall access to health care services by removing another layer of choice from individuals and small businesses about the kind of insurance they want to purchase. For these reasons, we urge members of the General Assembly to take a bold stance against all government-imposed mandates that negatively impact our state’s job creators and the individuals they employ.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber