FOREST: Putting America and North Carolina first in healthcare

I want to tell you about a young woman I’ve gotten to know named Julia; she’s from Charlotte, a huge Panthers and UNC Tarheels basketball fan, loves trips to Disney World, the beach and Chick-fil-A.

She was also born with Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, a rare muscle and bone condition. That hasn’t stopped her from graduating from Furman University and pursing her dream of being an artist.

What it does mean, though, is that she’s spent a lot of time in the hospital, recovering from surgeries and dealing with complications related to her condition.

In 2010, Julia’s family was paying about $1,000 per month for health insurance. But after President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was signed into law, within three years those premiums  had tripled — spiking to $3,000 each month; deductibles increased, and eventually Julia and her family lost the plan they had for many years.

Obamacare didn’t just fail Julia. It failed our country, broken promise after broken promise, and the latest proposal of Medicaid expansion is much the same.

The Republican plan for healthcare takes a much different approach. Instead of forcing the country on a one-size-fits-all socialist government system, we are improving healthcare to lower costs while expanding options. As President Trump put it in Charlotte this week: “Delivering better care with more choice at a much lower cost.”

This starts at the federal level. President Trump’s America First Healthcare Plan does the following:

  • Expands affordable insurance options
  • Reduces the cost of prescription drugs
  • Ends surprise billing
  • Requires price transparency
  • Protects patients with pre-existing conditions.

Here in North Carolina, Republicans are working on many of the same things. Already, we’ve made it easier for small businesses to offer health insurance to their employees.

When I’m Governor, we will provide better access for patients by encouraging doctors to practice in our rural communities. I’ll work with the General Assembly and the State Treasurer to ensure more price transparency, so citizens know how much prescription drugs and vital health services cost. I’ll reopen our state in a responsible manner which will allow people to get back to work and the ability to access their employer health care once again instead of relying on inadequate government services. And I’ll fight to get those left in the coverage gap created by the Affordable Care Act on reliable private insurance.

This past Thursday, Julia got to be beside President Trump as he signed an executive order in Charlotte that protects patients with pre-existing conditions and will fight surprise medical bills.

Already, her family’s health insurance premiums have been cut by over 40% under the Trump administration.

Under our leadership, President Trump and I — along with Republicans across the state — will ensure that the United States remains the land of cutting-edge treatments, groundbreaking cures and the best medical care in the world.

Dan Forest is the Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina and the Republican candidate for Governor in 2020.