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Carolina Journal Radio No. 869: Fighting back against public education myths

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
January 13, 2020 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 869: Fighting back against public education myths

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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January 13, 2020 8:00 am

Debate about public education in North Carolina gets bogged down by some popular myths. The myths include misconceptions about teacher pay and the impact of school choice on public school enrollment. Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation vice president for research and director of education studies, addresses those myths and attempts to correct the record. Occupational licensing laws limit economic opportunities in North Carolina. During a recent speech for the Federalist Society in Raleigh, attorney Justin Pearson of the Institute for Justice explained how. Pearson shares highlights from that presentation in a one-on-one interview. The University of North Carolina System has faced several recent high-profile controversies. But system leaders are focusing on positive initiatives heading into the new year. Interim President Dr. William Roper recently highlighted some of the positive news for the system’s Board of Governors. The Leandro school-funding lawsuit has been influencing N.C. public policy for a quarter century. Jeanette Doran, president and general counsel of the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law, discusses recent developments in the case. She highlights observers’ concerns that a judge could order the General Assembly to spend $8 billion more on education programs over the next eight years. N.C. policymakers could take steps to reduce health care costs without touching any policy related to the federal Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Instead they could eliminate some of the 53 state health insurance mandates. Jordan Roberts, John Locke Foundation health care policy analyst, is highlighting the impact of those mandates on N.C. health care.

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From chair to current attack and the largest city to the smallest and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio why Michiko got during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state occupational licensing laws limit economic opportunity in North Carolina, a lawyer who helps fight these restrictions across the country, recently visited Raleigh joins us to share his concerns the University of North Carolina system is dealt with a number of recent controversies, but system leaders are also pointing to positive news in the year ahead will have details school funding lawsuit dubbed Leandra Rowe has been kicking around the North Carolina Ct. system for 1/4 century will get an update on recent developments that will focus on the impact for North Carolina healthcare costs of more than 50 state insurance mandates. Those topics are just ahead.

First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline North Carolina schools employ more than 100,000 full-time teachers in traditional public schools and public charter schools in the 2018 19 school year average teacher pay was $53,975 and average total compensation reached nearly $73,000. When you factor in benefits as well. Dr. Terry stoops joins us now with a look at teachers in North Carolina and where kids are actually receiving their education. He of course is the vice president for research. The director of education studies here at the John Locke foundation Terry welcome back. Thank you little bit about teacher pay because we are hearing and seeing all sorts of stories that teachers are not respected by North Carolina legislators that they're not receiving adequate compensation.

What's occurred over the past few years will let me break it into two parts. The first is the period between 2011 and 2014 were North Carolina was experiencing the aftermath of the recession and had huge shortfalls in funding for its Medicaid program and during that period, the average teacher pay fell by thousand $1500 and part of that is due to the makeup of the teacher workforce which we could get into, but most of that was due to the fact that the Medicaid program was consuming so much money if you look at teacher pay since 2014. The average has increased by $9000 to the average teacher pay in 2014 was around $44,990 and that were getting close to 54,000 as of last year during this entire period. The money set aside for benefits has increased substantially. This includes pension contributions from the states. The amount for healthcare North Carolina pay Social Security for teachers as well as liability insurance. There's a statewide liability insurance for teachers. All of this combined to increase the value of their benefits package substantially so not only big increases in pay but even bigger increases in benefits and Terry I wasn't aware of some of that benefit date until you actually wrote about this and by the way, all of this data is yet we do have a narrative that's been established in North Carolina that there is a disrespect of teachers by North Carolina lawmakers. The data doesn't seem to match that it definitely doesn't.

And in the way teachers are paid is an important part of the story. Essentially, there is a statewide salary schedule that's based on credentials and years of experience in all teachers get paid according to that salary schedule so the worst teacher gets paid the same as the best teacher. If they have the same degrees in the same years of experience. There are local supplements that are added to vats of the local school districts or local counties via the school districts contribute some funds so that as well. I think the teachers that were disrespecting are our best teachers who are subject to the salary schedule and are not paid according to their achievements of their abilities.

Those of the teachers that are disrespected because they're getting paid the same as their lower performing counterparts so you can understand why they would be so frustrated being in classrooms and teaching knowing that they're doing a much better job than their colleagues get paid the same or even less than some of their colleagues based on their years of experience and credentials at such a great point. Is there any opportunity for a really outstanding teacher today in North Carolina to be able to receive compensation that it really is in line with their effectiveness and student achievement. There are small grants essentially that the general simile has passed in recent years for the teachers that do excel on state tests for career technical education teachers for teachers who teach advanced placement courses and are able to get a certain number of students essentially to passing the test for it for AP, the general summit has been mindful of providing funding for these small amounts of performance pay, but they're not very widespread there limited by grade and subject and so that's one of the limitations to the way the teachers are paid and certainly there is some very, very little flexibility when it comes to what a school administrator could do to be able to pay teacher, more so, there has been progress in recent years, but they're such a big push back on performance pay and incentive pay from those who frankly benefit from the fact that there's a statewide salary schedule that will be very difficult for North Carolina to move to a system that teach that the pace teachers based on their ability and their performance. I know that you have been urging policymakers to look more closely at those options. Try to keep those effective teachers in the classroom and compensated for their outstanding work and then of course that takes you to the other side of the coin which you would have in any business set anywhere in this country which is there going to be some teachers who are less effective than they need to be also need to take a look at that that's right and will and when we look at her teacher turnover data, it appears that the teachers are leaving the profession of the less effective teachers, which is a good thing we talk about teacher turnover so often something that's terrible. But when we have bad teachers leaving the classroom. That's a win that's a win for kids. It's a win for the for the classroom. It's a win for the school to win for the district. So when we look at teacher turnover we find that are least effective teachers are leaving. Unfortunately, our most effective teachers are getting paid to what they should for staying in the classroom and that this is an important point is that we should be paying teachers not because paying them additional funding are our top teachers paying them additional funding will make them perform any better that they'll perform just fine, but giving them the incentive to stay in the classroom and not pursue an administrative position or some other position to increase their pay. Terry, let's turn our attention to how and where kids are being educated in this state, North Carolina, a huge state. Of course, and we have been one of the leaders in the country and moving towards that more choice, more options for parents give us a sense of where we are on that traditional public schools are they still dominating the choice spectrum. Yes, absolutely.

So at this point, around 80% of our children go to a traditional or district school, and there are districts in the state to provide choices with within those districts so it's important to note that just because they're going to a district school doesn't mean that they don't have access to some sort of choice, but we have 20% that are attending schools of choice 8%'s are going to home schools around 6% are going to charters, and 6% are going to private schools were seeing huge increases in the number of students that are being homeschooled and going to charter school. The private school population.

Despite having some private school voucher programs really is an increasing by much really. The growth in school choice that were saying is coming from.

The charter schools and the home schools does data points are really fascinating again. All of this I'm Terry home schools hundred and 42,000 kids public charter schools are hundred and 9000 homeschools their rocket they really are and their growth hasn't slowed, I think a lot of people expected that we would start seeing a leveling off, but there has been the leveling off of those homeschooled students and it looks like this year that the charter schools added around 7000 kids compared to this point last year so you know the that we had 109,000 last year. Looks like at this point we have about 118,000 based on some preliminary numbers compared to this point last year. I think that hundred 9000 was based on the number of students at the end of last school. Thank you think you can say with this much North Carolina journal radio to come in just a moment tired of fake names tired of reporters with political axes to grind.

What you need to be reading Carolina journal, honest, uncompromising, old-school journalism, you expect and you need even better, the monthly Carolina journal is free to subscribers sign up Carolina you'll receive Carolina journal newspaper in your mailbox each month. Investigations into government spending revelations about boondoggles who the powerful leaders are and what they're doing in your name and with your money. We shine a light on it all with the stories and angles. Other outlets barely cover but there's a bonus print newspapers published monthly by our daily news site gives you the latest news each and every day lot onto Carolina once, twice, even three times a day. You won't be disappointed. It's fresh news if you'd like a heads up on the daily news sign up for our daily email do that Carolina Carolina journal rigorous unrelenting old-school journalism. We hold government accountable for you will go back Carolina journal radio I Mitch coca occupational licensing laws limit economic opportunity, North Carolina during a recent federal society speech in Raleigh attorney Justin Pearson of the Institute for Justice explained how he joins us now with more details.

Why does this issue interest your group is not the governments job to pick winners and losers in the marketplace. That choice belongs to consumers when your consumers decide and you let people pursue their passions as entrepreneurs, all sorts of wonderful innovation happens. Additionally, you create jobs. So here in North Carolina.

Just use one example about 43,000 jobs are lost every year because of licensing laws to corporate welfare handouts you could create thousands of jobs here in the Tar Heel state just by reforming occupational licensing is North Carolina especially stringent when it comes to licensing. Yes we've ranked all the states in North Carolina. I'm sad to say, was 17th worst the very worst, but more hostile small business owners. The most important, how does IJ deal with licensing we attack it on multiple fronts. Obviously first and foremost, we are a litigation and so one of things I do is I go around the nation. Filing pro bono lawsuits were we don't sue for money. I don't charge my clients anything.

Instead, I represent small business owners in cases where I asked judges throughout unconstitutional laws.

Additionally, we do quite a bit of legislative work and activism.

You know, in the hope that sometimes comes true that the government will do the right thing with us without us needing to you vets of Windsor, North Carolina, absolutely. So we had a case in Charlotte just couple years ago, representing someone who had to get a license to teach makeup right to teach makeup to check the license just this wonderful, hard-working, aspiring much manure and so we filed a First Amendment lawsuit because the thinking regular was our client speech and thankfully that the state of North Carolina decided not to fight back and when we reached resolution and so she has her business today.

We also have a case which is not rejoice in case we have a challenge in Aquinas us UN loss of need. I got a food truck case in Carolina Beach and so we been pretty active in North Carolina.

To be fair, were active in most states, but the plans were to be done here. Tell me more about this case involving the client who wanted to start a makeup school.

She was actually contacted by the state of North Carolina. They they they did an undercover sting, likely in response to some sort of online at some sort of complaint from someone who noticed online a competitor that there was going to be an unlicensed competitor and so the state of North Carolina contacted her and informed her that if she were to actually teach someone how to put makeup on.

She would be committing a crime or proposed makeup school didn't match up to the states regulations.

Anytime you have a one-size-fits-all approach to run into those problems we see it over and over again, both with cosmetology licenses and with all different types of licenses where they ensnare.

Sadly, often intentionally. People who are really trying to do with the lessons is all about. But the people in charge of quitting those licenses just trying prevent competition were chatting with Justin Pearson of the Institute for Justice. You also mention success in a food truck case, we see the kind of a similar dynamic with with food truck laws where cities are increasingly realizing how popular food trucks are, but they still don't want competition Kelly Beach passed a law that said anyone Food truck as long as you are also a restaurant owner in Carolina Beach and so Kelly Beach had no problem with food trucks.

They just didn't want so-called outsiders and this is the word that used outsiders coming across the bridge and competing with their local restaurant owners such as wrong that's unconstitutional under the North Carolina Constitution, so we were proud to bring a lawsuit on behalf of some future owners only a week later, the city threw in the towel and now food trucks are allowed to go on a beach. Even if you don't want to restaurant their these legal cases changing government attitudes about licensing.

I hope so. And I would hope so that that might be a little overly optimistic. Maybe someday we'll bring enough leave lawsuits that local governments and state governments will start caring about their that their state constitution in the federal Constitution. I do think there is an increased awareness, but I still think most state legislators and most local politicians give much thought to constitutional law when it passes laws. Sadly, do you hope that some government officials will see the light and change occupational licensing rules on their own. Absolutely we don't have unlimited resources but we can't file a lawsuit for everything the government does wrong, that's a long list and so anytime government does something right. Perfect is a problem on its own. That frees up resources to attack a different problem, and so we love it when the government does right thing. That's why were happy to work with legislators, some of whom will reach out to us for guidance and were happy to provide it, but when they don't then sadly we have the policies about people who say that a lot of these jobs should require a license. When you look at the different states, many of whom will have some licenses but not others. In those lessons one exists in other states. And so when you compare a state that has a license listed that doesn't have a license for almost all these license their licenses.

There is no positive impact on quality health or safety created by these licenses and so that fear is really unfounded. However, the extent that a legislator needs to do something and oftentimes looks at your site if you have to do something. What turns out that there is an entire spectrum of options that they have available is to be required. Registration required bonding required insurance for all sorts of things that can be done short of banning lawful employment banning someone from having a job should always be the last resort. And that's how it used to be know in the 1950s only one in 20 Americans require work hard to have a government permission slip to work now took over 14.

That's not the we think things are supposed to work in a free country and so that this man on work that was only supposed to be a last resort has now become oftentimes the first resort of legislators and it's usually because entrenched interest at work. Anytime a business goes to the government and asked to be regulated.

That should be a huge red flag, but instead what's happening is that politicians are caving to the demands of powerful interest and being in competition and that just hurts everyone are more people starting to understand the downside of occupational licensing. We do see an increasing awareness that being said, there's a different screen awareness and reform right and so one of things it's frustrating is there's now a bipartisan consensus that reform is needed and how many things at the Trump administration and the Obama nutrition agree on. This is one of them and you would think that would lead to reform it.

When you people on both sides of the aisle, clamoring for reform. When you go to state capitals and it's very different difficult because the.

The current entrenched interests are able.

Unfortunately, to usually fight back against that reform even though that reform would benefit society as a whole are you optimistic about licensing changes in the future. I'm optimistic that things will continue to improve. RG has a tremendous track record of success in a number of areas and even in occupational licensing we have already see them seeing improvement know whether we'll get to the place were I would like things to be like will probably never get all the way there, but I'm proud to just keep chipping away at these regulations every time you get when get rid of what is regulations thousands of jobs are created, not the wonderful thing and not just any jobs that they can be jobs that the disproportionally go to disadvantaged communities. Low income communities, first generation Americans to generate British American all the people who government claims to want to help like small business owners when you get rid of what is regulations those of the people that are being helped. And so every every time you get rid of one, whether it's in court or through legislation like that's a wonderful thing, but that being said, the typical state has between three and 500 discrete occupational licenses so you know, like, irrevocable, here are couple there tends to be a drop in the bucket and so you savor the individual victories, but were well aware of how high the amount. Bottom line, what should government officials know about occupational licensing as a matter of principle, the government should get rid of monies occupational licenses for the government should not be arbitrarily preventing people from pursuing the occupation of the life of their choice.

But even if the government doesn't care about principal should care about jobs.

All you have to do to create thousands of jobs in North Carolina relatively easily perform occupational licensing laws. It's a shame it hasn't happened yet. Thank you, Justin Pearson, attorney with the Institute for Justice courtroom with North Carolina journal radio in a moment.

If you have freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups across North Carolina all in one place North Carolina it's one stop shopping. North Carolina's freedom You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and Locke foundation analysts, opinion pieces and reports on higher education James G. Martin Center for academic renewal, commentary and polling data from the scimitar's Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council.

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Don't forget log on to today, something nice and help defend freedom, help support the John Mott foundation will get back to Carolina journal radio amateur Coke. I busy times are ahead for the University of North Carolina system. Interim president Bill Roper offered a recent preview will soon be in the midst of reevaluating how each university within the systems peer institutions are identified across the nation.

This is an intensive and import because those peers are part of how perform is in terms of research productivity.

Graduation rate is faculty salary metrics are also operating with each of our institutions to clarify the individual missions of the universities.

This is a critical step towards making sure that each institution is serving its region and its students and program offerings and research priorities, and other activities aligned with the individual missions. Much of the work ahead of us is critical to the systems forced to maintain our competitive advantage in the national higher nations.

For example, were exploring strategies to address demographic trends that are affecting college enrollment nationally is your from having we face changing demographics nationally that are affecting institutions around the country.

Thus far, we have continued to grow in the aggregate for the UNC system, but the challenges will come to North Carolina in the years ahead were smoothing pathways into the UNC system and were finding more ways to serve a higher percentage of traditional students, adult learners and military students were not just focused on getting students in the door. We want to also ensure that we attract and retain the best faculty and staff to serve, including using the resources we have. To compensate faculty our budget and finance team is studying the feasibility of consolidating the University systems, data management, not channeling all through the system office we could potentially help institutions borrow money at a interest rate streamline the debt issuance process reduce the work. The institutional level and take advantage of higher economies of scale evaluating new approaches that will make North Carolina's higher education system more robust and more efficient were looking for a variety of ways to do through shared services and deficiencies.

Example is our current effort to make summer school rather than the exception, which will allow students to finish on time.

Dr. Bill Roper interim president of the UNC system is previewing major items in the universities near future courtroom with more Carolina journal radio where dabbling down on freedom at Carolina journal radio were proud to bring you stories that impact your life and your wallet. And now get twice as much freedom when you also listen to our podcast headlock available on iTunes headlock is a little bit different. It's a no holds barred discussion that challenges softheaded ideas from the left and the right, like Carolina journal radio headlock is smart and timely but with headlock you'll hear more about the culture wars get some more humor as well. We guarantee great information and a good time double down with S.

Listen to Carolina journal radio each week and listen to headlock to remember, you can listen to or subscriber download each week iTunes Carolina journal radio and headlock just what you need to stay informed and stay entertained both brought to you in the name of freedom by the John Locke foundation book back Carolina journal radio amateur Coke. I North Carolina courts have been dealing with the issue of funding for public education, for 1/4 century. Why, what, and what's next here to help us address these questions is Jeanette Doran. She is president and General Counsel North Carolina Institute for constitutional law will conduct back to the program. Thanks for having me mix so first of all working to get into some of the key. The current issues involved in this case, but this is the case dates back to the mid-1990s called Leandra what's it all about Leander out is a case leaner versus North Carolina it was filed in 1994 senates literally been a quarter-century and in that case they were some students and their parents from what's described as relatively poor rural counties and then students and their parents from relatively large wealthy counties in the school boards from this counties seed the state of North Carolina and the state Board of Education and they were really contesting the manner in which schools are fund and in the allegation was that the students were not receiving a constitutionally conforming education because counties supplement school funding, so it was a school funding case when it started its gone through the courts up and down couple trips to the state Supreme Court, and it has changed over the years as a yes it has so the first case I get it, was filed in 1994 it went to the Supreme Court. The first time in 1997, and in that decision, the Supreme Court really gives a couple of important holdings one. They said that the state constitution requires that the state provide students of the school art students is of North Carolina the opportunity to receive a sound basic education so opportunity to receive a sound basic education and then they went on inside the disparities in funding were not unconstitutional. There's a specific constitutional provision that allows for counties, local units of government to Ann Taylor supplement funding that they receive from the state for skills. This case has a long involved history far longer than we have time to get into, but one of the latest pieces of this is a report that came out.

That suggests that North Carolina should spend another $8 billion over the next eight years to help address the issues that are spelled out in this case where does that report stand and why is that important for this legal case well before we get to that report and it's come the West and report it's important to remember that after that 1997 Supreme Court decision. There was a trial it went back through appeals to the had another Supreme Court decision from 2004, and then it went back so that the trial court could serve come up with a remedy because the court had found that students are not receiving an opportunity to sound basic education. That's why it's still going on and what the trial court dad in March 2018, at the request of all of the parties, the plaintiffs and defendants hired this consulting group out of California called West had and in June 2019 West and produced a 300 page report with various recommendations. That report was not made public until just last week, December 2019 and in the report last had lays out a number of recommendations including an $8 billion billion dollar increase in spending. They also make recommendations about school funding. Funding for charter schools and plans to continue monitoring Leandra will complying.

Leandra compliance. We don't know what the court will delete that report we are chatting with Jeanette Doran. She is president and General Counsel of the North Carolina Institute for constitutional law. One of the reasons that you're interested in this case is because there is some suggestion that the judge in the case might consider issuing an order for the state to spend that additional money. Why is this something that we should be watching very closely and be concerned about.

We should just be concerned about it.

We should be terrified by that prospect. I it really hits at the core of separation of powers, the state Constitution lays out very specifically what the process is for creating the budget and the general assembly and ask that it got there executes the budget administers the budget.

The courts have no role in what's concerning where short or would be concerning is for court to come in and require or attempt to require that the legislature spend a certain amount of money on education if they can get for education a court could order specific funding for just about any and that's really not an appropriate function of the judicial branch money can only come out of the public treasury pursuant to an appropriation made by law. There's a specific constitutional provision that that it's called the preparations because we know that they general assembly is responsible for writing the budget, the judicial branch should not be in the business should not become in the business of writing the state budget or specifying how much money should be appropriated for this that or the other, really, as a separation of powers issue and there have been some recent court cases in which judges in North Carolina have recognized this art they rip specific cases within the last couple of years were judges of said this is the general assembly's job. It's not. In some cases, the executive job or other cases, the judicial job to say how the money is spent rightly with Hansen Court of Appeals cases and even Supreme Court cases after the last probably 2025 years. Very recently that a year and 1/2. Again, there is a Court of Appeals decision and the court very clearly said the most that court can Gail is issue a judgment or order a decision ordering something that they can't order the Gen. assembly to appropriate money just isn't what courts are allowed to Gail is the Constitution so clear that the general assembly has that authority, not the judicial branch in the time that we have left this obviously 300 page report. Talk about future public education could provide some valuable items, but it sounds as if the constitutional course would be for this to be something to go into legislative debate or the governor could recommend that the general assembly use this.

But really, the courts should not be turning to this report for some sort of order exactly 8. It's not unusual for experts to provide opinions for judges that were four legislators and that's really how we should view that assist as an expert opinion to be considered by the general assembly as they develop a budget for our schools and and for all the other essential function functions of government that it isn't appropriate for court to command wholesale account that an attempt to usurp the legislative authority at the legislative branch to enact budgets to appropriate money that just is not something that courts continue constitutionally and he shouldn't even try that if the legislature wants to look at that report along with other reports talk with consult with experts.

That's certainly appropriate. We know one person is going to be watching very closely is Jeanette Doran. She is president and General Counsel at the North Carolina Institute for constitutional law. Thanks for joining us think you mentioned more on Carolina drone radio in just a moment really influence you either have it or you don't and at the John Mott foundation we have it, you'll find our guiding principles in many of the freedom forward reforms of the past decade here in North Carolina. So while others talk or complain or name call. We provide research solutions and hope our team analyzes the pressing issues of the day jobs, healthcare, education, and more. We look for effective ways to give you more freedom, more options, more control over your life. Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse, the envy of every other state. Our research is how policymakers make decisions that ensure you keep more of what you are.

Expand your choice of schools for your kids.

Widen your job opportunities improve your access to doctors. The recipe for stability and a bright future for truth for freedom for the future of North Carolina. We are the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina Journal radio Martinez was a shortage of complaints about the high cost of health insurance and the high cost of healthcare itself, but there are ways for North Carolina lawmakers to help lower the costs and interestingly enough, it has nothing to do with Obama care.

The affordable care act.

Jordan Roberts is the healthcare policy analyst for the John Locke foundation. He's been writing about this. He joins us now with the details. Jordan walked back to the shelter. You are writing that we must pay attention to the 53 what are the 53 to those of the amount of mandates of the state of North Carolina says that if your private insurer here and offer product in the state.

You must provide coverage for these 53 different sets of services or procedures or protections, coverages, things like that and so you over time. These have built up and built up to a number you know very high and you know it's it's something that private insurers have to deal with when they want to come into the state and offer product is these 53 mandates. What impact does a mandate then have on the cost. How does that work if I'm an insurance company and I pricing my product to share. Take a look at everything that's required yet.

So when you're looking out you designing a benefit program you look at what states tells you have to cover and then you input you incorporate that into your health benefit plan. That's what that means is that you then have to go out and find a provider who offers that service and you know contract with them.

They become an in network provider but what this does to the entire health benefit plan is that all the covered lives in there.

It's concentrated benefits and diffuse costs are what that means is that the benefits that each of these mandates conveyed is only to a small population, but the costs are spread out over the entire health plan. So, for each mandate that the state adds on.

We each pay a little bit more to ensure that coverage in the health plan. Jordan, if you take a look at some of the items on the list and by the way. Jordan actually has posted the list of these 53 state health benefit mandate you to find

If you scan the list. Jordan, you see things that clearly if you know someone who is suffering from a particular diagnosis or a problem. It really does bring up the emotion in you and is that these mandates get added to the list because you're such a compelling emotional story attached to someone who is afflicted with a particular problem that's exactly what happens and you will refer to this is the special interest affected. So essentially what happens is it a well-organized trade associations or things like that are able to effectively lobby of the state legislators to say this is an important issue and I have a group of no follower supporters that you know this is an important issue to them.

So therefore you should mandate that health insurance you know cover this and so that's how it happens is you know it's it's a tough sell to say that you know these these people right here standing in front of you will benefit from this, but what you know is hidden is the cost that are spread out to everyone so know all these do help a small individual amount of people you know what it does is that it decreases the competition among health insurers, because if each health insurer has to provide that benefit is no meaningful difference between you know the companies that are offering products and they can't compete for your business.

So that's where we get these inflated prices and no real competition in the insurance market hasn't been any research Jordan on how benefit mandates that impact the cost summing you talk to anecdotally and it makes perfect sense if you're the insurance company. The more you are required to cover than the higher you're going to have to price your product in order to make sure that you are adequately prepared to deal with all that, but does there is the research that shows that that indeed is how it plays out. Absolutely yeah you know this is you know this is the affordable care act was put in the place you know they had what they called the 10 essential health benefits and the was a big a big deal was that you know Obama care required that every health plan sold on the affordable care act exchanges and most other employer plans have to cover these 10 essential health benefits and research shows that you know a large portion of the hikes in health insurance is directly attributed to those mandates because when it health insurers are forced to provide this then they have to spread those costs around all of us and we pay for that. So it's minuscule but they add up over time and as more benefits are added on a new no health insurance become looks some word from company to company because they have to provide all the same benefits. It's interesting you would mention Obama care. The affordable care act because it has its own 10 essential benefits. The mandates there, but those are completely separate from the 53 were talking about the credit level so it's really two levels of these cost drivers been added in the new norm attribute insurance company trying operate in this in this market where you have the federal government.*You have to provide all all these benefits, the state government.*You have to provide all these benefits, you need to go build adequate network to to have people come in and by your plan is that you know I'm going to get all the care I need not know messes up the insurer's ability to freely negotiate with no private providers because the providers know they have to provide that it messes up negotiations and you know we all end up paying more as that is the bottom line Jordan the pushback on the view that benefit that benefits some that benefit mandates are cost drivers is well you know what what someone supposed to do if they have a diagnosis like this, will the market take care of that. Jordan, if someone has a particular thing is going to be quite expensive to to treat. Will there be players in the marketplace that crop up, because there essentially is a demand for a particular type of care and coverage. Yeah, I believe Sarah made me know or see in a free market is where there is a demand to know it's going to be met and some in some way. And so if we got the state government out of regulating the business of insurance and just allowed you know any type of health insurance product to be offered. People whatever choices and could you you have reviewed the plans that best fit them and so health insurers would have options way more different levels and you know, degrees of intensity of plans that you could buy in there. There always be people that you know how these these certain deficiencies are problems that need to get treated so well in the market to freely meet that demand is how you do it rather than mandating and having all of us pay and you know messing up the free exchange letters, free negotiations that health insurers have with providers Jordan, I think one of the most interesting details in your writing about this has to do with the state health plan because you point out something that people may not realize, and there are tens, even hundreds of thousands of people covered by the state health plan right date of employees.

How did the benefit mandates affect them and their costs, so when a plan is self-insured meeting with the plan sponsors assume all the rest.

They don't pay premiums to insurance company. The self-insured plan is not subject to any of the mandates from the federal or state level. But you know here in North Carolina we do have a large self-insured state health plan and you know it being the largest purchaser of health insurance in the state must explicitly said through statutes that these benefit mandates don't apply to the state health plan and I think the one reason is that legislators realize that you know this. These impose extra cost when you regulations you get passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices and so you know there is this discussion about when Obama care is going through other members of Congress would have to join or not it's the same thing they know it's not inadequate product and they know that these benefit mandates raise the prices for everyone and there included in the price so it's an interesting little tidbit there. It really is and you could find that interesting tidbit in the piece that Jordan is written about this. It's entitled health benefit mandates I need to do to get it is just go to John Jordan Robertson is healthcare policy analyst for the Locke foundation thanks the time we have for the program this week.

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