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Carolina Journal Radio No. 858: N.C. Transportation Department raises funding concerns

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
October 28, 2019 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 858: N.C. Transportation Department raises funding concerns

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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October 28, 2019 8:00 am

Supporters of the N.C. Department of Transportation are raising concerns about dwindling funding for highway projects. They point to higher-than-expected costs from hurricane repairs, as well as money diverted from construction to pay legal settlements linked to the now-discarded Map Act. Joseph Coletti, John Locke Foundation senior fellow, explores DOT funding issues. North Carolina does relatively well compared to other states when it comes to parental school choice. That’s the assessment from Neal McCluskey, director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute. During a recent visit to the Tar Heel State, McCluskey highlighted its recent school choice improvements. He also points to steps the state could take to boost options for families. Eastern North Carolina’s long-standing federal judicial vacancy could soon be filled. President Trump has nominated UNC law professor Richard Myers for the post. Senior U.S. Sen. Richard Burr recently touted Myers’ record during a hearing of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee. After several years of inactivity, the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law is back in action. President Jeanette Doran discussed the group’s goals during a recent relaunch event in Raleigh. She also heard words of support from two former state Supreme Court justices: Robert Edmunds and Robert Hunter. Much of the national health care debate in recent years has focused on the number of people with no insurance. Jordan Roberts, John Lock Foundation health care policy analyst, discusses Trump administration actions that are designed to give people more options.

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From chair to current 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 Carolina Journal radio I Michiko got during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state.

North Carolina does relatively well when it comes to parental school choice that's according to an expert from the libertarian Cato Institute who here is assessment, North Carolina's senior US Sen. recently praised, you would see a law professor. That's because the professor could soon fill the state's long-standing vacancy among Federal District Court judges you'll hear highlights from the remarks after years of inactivity. The North Carolina Institute for constitutional law is back in action. You'll learn about its plans and will discuss how trump administration policies could offer more options for North Carolinians who were seeking health insurance. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline the North Carolina Department of Transportation is having money problems. A new report on dwindling DOT cash reserves that comes after earlier this year DOT announcing they had plans to lay off hundreds of contract and temporary workers transportation Sec. Jim Trogdon points to several different reasons for all of this, but state legislative leaders have questions, and so do we, here at the John Mark foundation Joe Colletti is following the story for the Locke foundation. He analyzes transportation and budget issues. As a senior fellow Joe welcome back to the shelf. Should we be concerned about all of this money problems and replacements to government. Our concern should be a concern, and the department of transportation. The lack of a cash balance there in the dwindling cash balance of about is legislatively guided by the McKinsey report you alluded to in the interest in introductory comments taking a look at what's going on in the department did point to some challenges with our primary engineering and with the cat what they called the culture of cash in both of those are basically that there's not enough oversight of what's happening will within the department to be able to make sure that the cash is being brought down in a responsible manner so they recognize that they have to bring the money down and probably made some mistakes along the way and how quickly they did that and how they work and how they were managing projects along the way were about what four months or so into the fiscal year. So they've got to operate for another eight months or so and already having cash issues gives a sense of that the amount of money were talking about here for deity, but the department's budget is $5 billion which is a large which is about $3 million $4 million from the from the state and $1 billion from the federal government and along the way. They also bring in may also have bonds and in some other borrowing that they do to make sure that they can maintain that the cash levels and certain amount is divided between the Highway trust fund, which is mainly for construction and the highway fund, which is mainly for operations and maintenance and then it gets weird because the federal money goes into the highway fund even though that's for construction of new roads and so that's where some of the confusion when taking a look at things start to come in as well because one of the bond issuance is the department said we are that they were loading $1 billion from the Highway trust fund to the highway fund, but that was part of this cash drawdown so that they couldn't reach so that they could bring in the federal funds of the federal funds are only's provided to the state after the state spends money and because the federal funds go through the highway fund for them to do construction on federal federally related roads, then the money can't be in the Highway trust fund, which is only state roads. It has to be the highway fund so you loanable billion dollars from the Highway trust fund to the highway fund spend that money in the federal government eventually sends $1 billion back so all of this is really confusing, like who's on first but it ended it's it's what's going it's the nature of how the boot the department is funded and and there a lot of other confusing things with how the budget works there but yeah part is is is is is kind of almost straightforward but is the legislature going to somehow give them money to make sure that they operate, and we should say that Sec. Jim Trogdon has pointed to several different things he's pointed to bad weather, having to put out more money than anticipated, apparently to repair roads and things associated with hurricanes and major storms. Also, there's been some time I talk about maybe estimates on some projects that weren't up to par is that the cost came in higher than they thought and then they have to they meaning we DOT have to pay out to people who were considered quote victims of the states map act which is been declared unconstitutional. Those folks are going to get compensation. I bring all that up. Joe just to say this should have leadership at DOT been able to at least anticipate some of this a good bit interest rate. Some of that.

That's part of the cash drawdown that they were doing to the challenge thing comes in with the estimates of projects that that the secretary mentioned and with the just general cash management that they had there and so how much of the. The lack of reserves is is on is unanticipated seems to be about about half of that about $400 million potentially based on the McKinsey numbers as of that.

So that's the concern of the map act is a is a long-term challenge for the department because the estimates have been between 300 million and $1 billion of liability that the state has two owners who have had their property, who have been compensated less than what they should have been to make way for roads and not in other projects in the trip department transportation and in the hurricane relief in the in the storms in the in the extra resort responses had a be with salt in the winter and thing in and and just to rebuilding of things with and respect after hurricanes and slides is that's part of that.

It's higher than is normally been, but it should be within the real range of what is what is possible so the good mood the ability for the department to continue is a is is is it it it shouldn't be an issue because that's the cash balance and money is still being is still coming in through the normal revenue streams of the gas tax and in sales taxes on cars and in the other pieces that go into what the department normally has so they are still receiving money. This is that the cash balances coming dangerously close to what they with the minimum that they have to have will speaking receiving money in the gas tax, etc. not only do state lawmakers and leadership at DOT have to deal with the current issue and what's happening but going forward. There's some big time questions show that you've been analyzing and writing about what we do when we're in a situation where were not have enough money coming in to build and repair. So give us a sense of what we face Carolina Wheatley have both at the state level and at the national level. There is a greater demand for road construction and road maintenance and operations, then there is money available because, in part because we parted that maybe that we've overbilled and part of that is that as cars have become more efficient and as we move to more electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. The gas tax becomes a challenge for for most places the highway federal highway tax and or the federal federal gas tax funds federal highway trust fund in the state relies for the greatest proportion of its transpiration money on the gas tax as well. So if that informed moving more electric vehicles than that becomes a a more dipped out a less reliable source of funding. Are we looking at potentially needing to propose and get buy-in on more toll roads or maybe technology that vehicle miles traveled something like that. Yeah those are both options that both at the federal and state level are being considered. Should we have more toll roads. Should the federal government allow more tolling on interstates vehicle miles traveled as opposed to the gas tax and then one of the other options could be more local control of roads because North Carolina has more state roads than any other state except Texas, but we also have a higher portion of roads that are owned by the state than most of them than just about anyplace else. And so if we have more local control of the funding and the in the construction then the local governments would have would be able to have a say thank you very much. Thank you stay with us much more Carolina internal radio account 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 the light on it all with the stories and angles. Other outlets barely cover but there's a bonus print newspapers published monthly or 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 daily email do that Carolina Carolina Journal, rigorous, unrelenting, old-school journalism, we hold government accountable for you to back to Carolina Journal radio I Muskoka I North Carolina has seen major changes in recent years in parental school choice. One person was watch those changes with interest is Neil McCluskey. He is director of the Center for educational freedom at the libertarian Cato Institute woke up to the program leisure government so you will look at school choice and educational issues across the country. When you look at North Carolina. How do we stack up what I think North Carolina relative to other states overturning the lobar here, but relative to other states actually doing a pretty good job on school choice by the joys and protect them so you is free programs here. Plus you just said 549 savings accounts can be used for K-12 education but used to only be for higher education. So relative to other states. North Carolina seems to embrace school choice and school choice programs also looked at North Carolina just in terms of private school enrollment big increases in private school enrollment since 1990 92 or 9192, one of that and also that means. Without these programs and so North Carolina is doing a good job of getting people access to private schools who wanted a lot more work to be done and I think the state is doing that work emotionally always had bumps in the road, but if you compare North Carolina in some states would, New Jersey, New York, were private school choice programs are just anathema to make any progress. North Carolina is doing a lot better than those states. There are few state so there probably even further along in embracing school choice. North Carolina think Florida probably first and foremost is in Arizona, Nevada, have been making progress but took a step back, but probably Florida Arizona are the two big ones Wisconsin have been making a lot of progress, but they take a big step back. North Carolina is doing well still so much more work to do because the norm the default is still you go to school to base on your home were going to get into what North Carolina can do to help make even more access to school choice, but first of all remind us from your perspective, why is choice important choice important for many reasons why is most important in my thinking on this is kind of changed over the last 15 to 17 years of been working on this. I'm sort of embarrassed that it took me so long to reach this conclusion. The first reason we want school choice as we are supposed to be a society of United States of America supposed to be grounded in liberty and freedom and freedom means of education people able to choose school so they think are best for their kids.

That can mean pedagogically better kids, but also main schools that share their values and so that they don't have to fight with other people to impose their values on them is a lot fun with one government school in their district by the state level because the state now tells all public schools what to do. We want school choice because a free society, demand, school choice demands the freedom to choose different things in public scorn doesn't allow that months.

The first reason we want school choice to go beyond college graduates will call educational freedom because increasingly, you can choose educational option but don't happen school online and get therapies with horses all sorts of stuff that goes beyond schools then there all the sort of traditional arguments to the free market leads to competition, enabling educators to decide how they want to educate less than complete. That also drives innovation much more efficient, more accountable. If you have to respond directly to people who want your service so that all those really crucial reasons for reason number one is a free society, should have an education system grounded in freedom you heard the words educational freedom. Neil McCluskey is director of the Center for educational freedom. It's located at the Cato Institute, the libertarian group you mentioned.

Also, earlier Florida and Arizona as sort of the standout states. What could North Carolina do to get a little bit more like them.

Well, there's a lot that goes on in those states already. You probably have people there who may be a little bit more inclined to freedom.

To which would include school choice. Also, I think, made good pictures for school choice and that includes talking about you know if we have school choice.

We also need to reduce the regulations on traditional public school enable those traditional public schools to be competitive because some of them don't want just exist because you have to go there.

They want to have the ability to do new and different things and compete with schools of choice, but often bogged down rules and regulations and certainly in Arizona. They talked about.

Let's free everybody up to do different things and in Florida.

I think they've had similar discussions, but it's also important that they often elect people who are tend to be friendly to school choice and in Florida they have had the benefit of Jeb Bush was governor very pro school choice, and he continues to stay active in Florida arguing for campaigning for school choice and there are a lot of groups that wanted that are very active and so I would recommend that people North Carolina who want school choice. You got to constantly be fighting for the make the argument for argument.

First and foremost should be about three people to build a choose the education I think especially kids that leads into the next question which is that we have seen elected recently in the last cycles of people of been more hostile to choice, or at least skeptical. What are some of the best ways to make that case to them that look this is not the verses are conservative versus liberal.

This is something everyone should be able to get on board with bright welcoming first research freedom for everybody and that's really important. This, I'm sure it's touchy and I'm not an expert in North Carolina politics. But I think of for instance the bathroom. Bill issue that really was kind of front and center in North Carolina is saying.

Well, we should require everybody eager to have schools that don't allow student to choose a bathroom or do if you're either side of the debate what you should want is a system where you can choose a school that shares your values. That may mean the school of choose the bathroom.

Maybe you choose a school that says no, we have traditional assignment.

The bathroom what we should be doing say let's have a system where were all forced into conflict and that is what public schooling is when there are differences you have to fight for who's going to get what they wanted the schools. Everyone has to pay for the other, more mundane issue is people want school choice, and then they hear someone say well if there school choices, take money at your public schools and we've got to explain to people better that even if money leaves your postal one did force them to compete in research is shown repeatedly that forces them to get better, but also that rarely does so much money leave a student, that there is money left over when there's actually more money per pupil and the school that they've left and people love the idea of class-size reduction and that having more money per pupil which means more recent resources for per-pupil and that point has to be emphasized over and over because people were initially scared when they hear money will be limited schools but if they hear more resources for their child if they stay there, but something that people think of great and we need to emphasize in the brief time that we have left is there one particular item in the school choice front that you see North Carolina that this is this is something you want to move toward.

We actually have some model legislation for a tax credit funded ESA so that the money never comes from state is what we seem is money that comes from state people tend to say we got regulated because that's my tax money in part a tax credit funded ESA people would choose whether or not to donate the groups and set up the savings account and they can choose to whom they send that just like a regular scholarship tax credit only now for an ESA one person is going to continue to watch North Carolina as it deals with issues of school choice is Neil McCluskey, director of the Center for educational freedom at the libertarian Cato Institute, thanks much for joining us. Thank you will have more on Carolina general radio in just a moment.

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It's that easy. So now not only will you enjoy what you buy. You also support freedom. Don't forget lot onto today, something nice and help defend freedom, help support the John Mark foundation will go back to Carolina journal radio amateur co-guy, North Carolina's long-standing vacancy on the federal district court could soon be filled by UNC law professor Richard Myers states senior US Sen. Richard Burr recently counted Myers record for Senate colleagues believe his story is one we can all admire and appreciate customers immigrated to the United States from Kingston to make Jamaica at the age of 10 and move with his family to Wilmington North Carolina in the eastern part of our study were his mother and brother still reside. He's first generation college student, having received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Following graduation, he worked as a reporter for the Wellington MorningStar covering local news and issues ranging from criminal cases to business development and Wilmington's thriving coffee and movie industries. Myers eventually went back to school and earned his law degree, then the September 11 terrorist attack prompted another career change. While this act of evil was a turning point for country. It was also a turning point for Prof. Mars, like so many others in the wake of the tragedy answered the call to service, dedicating his legal abilities to our nations judicial system is a US Attorney Prof. Mars said, choosing the snoop and I quote him was something that I felt I could do and that I owed the country that had been really good to my family. After completing his work as an assistant US attorney Myers returned to Chapel Hill to teach law instructing the next generation of warriors to be people who in his own words, and I quote do the right thing every day. In this role he's contributed not only to the education of his law students, but he supported their work for public interest organizations for 15 years he served as the auctioneer of the Carolina public interest law organizations auction, which raises money, enabling students to work in jobs such as the public defender District Attorney's Office or nonprofit organization is also done pro bono work, consulting on his own for numerous nonprofits is made. It's a priority to mentor students, aspiring to serve in public service careers and is giving us time is legal ability to ensure that our criminal justice system truly is just fresh. Mars is well-regarded, well-qualified, and I have faith in his ability to do the right thing every day. One group actively opposed Myers domination. The students will miss out on having him as a professor.

I would suggest my colleagues this is a true statement of his qualifications for the job he's been nominated and asked to serve in that the students that look up to professors of are the ones that judge this decision as their loss. That's US Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina touting the record of UNC law professor Richard Myers will return more Carolina journal radio in a moment 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 Locke is a little bit different. It's a no holds barred discussion that challenges softheaded ideas from the left and the right light. 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 that'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 entertain both brought to you in the name of freedom by the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio amateur co-guy. The North Carolina Institute for constitutional law is back. What is it where did it go during a recent celebration of its return Institute Pres. Jeanette Doran offered some answers to those questions for five sprinkler test and carbonation was sealed constitutional principles and force occasional limitations on government litigation.

I first thousand five work with that many many years and years ago decided things have let things quiet down. What would be better, more effective way to ensure freedom and fairness and liberty is way to somewhere our boring design generosity foundation and other generous donors to restart work collaboratively with the legislature but also when public officials at the city town County agencies explained how the Institute for constitutional law will work moving forward in order. Freedom and prosperity were in effect this on three principal areas. One will be education law making sure reserves rest that we may and school choice making sure does not determine as they have a more about our children, parents, because ultimately people who are mis-responsible for their children and have the greatest interest by the separation of powers word points to her own recent history in state government commission for years now, and the agency final approval for virtually every rule or regulation state North Carolina aircraft promulgating regulations that they have the statutory authority serving statutory authority. Further, legislature will and comprehensive understanding of these rules.

Unfortunately, we really been focusing Doran outlined the Institute priorities. He says those priorities also require her to turn her attention to another report topic in order to make sure that all these things proceed where therapist on election law and redistricting may see, and support social media yesterday. We take our very first official action by requesting the public records from bad representative and representative Dan Jackson really like what it as authority was talking about. During her right down stairs processes is clear so we are class and we're ready to proceed any all options available to us to make sure that the court order is complying with court order or not.

Frankly, it's flawed as it is the court order Gen. assembly in the interest people deserve nothing in full and complete compliance with an order of the legislature has determined legislature represents the people we need to move forward people paying a reasonable amount of attention to the U.S. Constitution.

Doran wants to focus on North Carolina's governing document.

Make sure everyone here really fully and completely understand just how important the state constitution is the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights is are obviously really important is the state. Doran also wants to clear up any misconceptions about who's paying the bills for the newly revived Institute for constitutional law, we proudly receive government as Jeanette Doran resumes work as president of the North Carolina Institute for constitutional law.

She's getting some high-profile help former state Supreme Court Justice Robert Edmonds explains why he looks forward to the Institute's new work courts Gen. assembly.

So many institutions here in Raleigh really need education about the state constitution as Jeanette said, you know, most people have some notion of what the U.S. Constitution says in places at least. But people are still learning about the state constitution and I think what she's going to be doing what picking up the work she's discussing going to be just invaluable for all of us, not just in this room but in volume across North Carolina, another former Supreme Court Justice and appeals court judge Robert Hunter also sees the importance of the North Carolina Constitution. I got fascinated with the state constitution. When I was trying to trace the 1990s singles versus former jingles versus the people don't realize the critical the nature of that case completely transform the entire country because it created opportunities for Blacks and Republicans to get elected office.

Throughout the entire country led to the Gingrich revolution of 1994, and finally after 100 years than 10 years politicians a chance to win in the state legislature gave us without judges and justices.

It was a groundbreaking thing learning what people are learning now about the Republican Constitution of 1868, which is still constitutional used today by March, and there are so many things in the people don't read about the were very radical for their time and their still very it's always it's fascinating to be to watch all these little nuances when you find someone like the light is on and some lawyers. There is actually sits down and reads the Constitution and applies to market Jeanette Doran explains why her group will be tackling important tasks forward really working as I said before trying to prevent constitutional violations instead of having to litigate them after the all make a difference mean the difference between liberty and prosperity disaster) listening to highlights from the event relaunching the North Carolina Institute for constitutional law will return with more Carolina journal radio in a moment really influence you either have it or you don't and at the John Mark 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 I'm Donna Martinez, the numbers have made national headlines. According to the US Census Bureau from 2017 to 2018 the number of people in this country who do not have health insurance went up so why is that is responsible. Jordan Roberts has been looking at those questions. He is the healthcare policy analyst for the John lock foundation Jordan welcome back to the program.


Gotta be here tell us about the numbers from the Census Bureau right so this was the 2018.

Insurance numbers that looked at the changes from 2017 to 2018.

Looking at the changes in specific categories and so this is the first time in about a decade that the number of total insured Americans went down and so does a cause for concern for a lot of people.

The numbers went from 7.9% in 2017 to 8.5% of Americans without insurance. About 27 million Americans so this was a slight uptick, but the critics of these numbers. I don't think really have the full story here. Tell us about that because they actually break these numbers down Census Bureau into those with private insurance and what happened there in those with public insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, that's right.

So the biggest changes were that overall, the number of insured went down right arm. Private plans went down a little bit as well and that the big number.

I think to take away from this is that the number of people are Medicaid went down to yourself in a growing strong economy. That's a good thing that people are making too much money to qualify for low income assistance so I think that's a big thing to take away, and also the amount of people in the individual market what the affordable care actto build up a strong individual market.

That number is been declining significantly, especially those at the top of the income level who don't have subsidies so those are the two biggest drops which you don't really tell the picture don't really tell the story of the Trump administration sabotaging the affordable care act want to get to some of the things at the Trump administration is doing to try to provide everyone with more options in putting some of those folks who were kind of them at that point where they don't have employer insurance and and yet they don't qualify for a subsidy, but first on the issue of the uninsured is fair to say. Also, Jordan, that there may be people who simply say luck, you know, I've got enough money if something happens to write on the roll the dice.

I'm just gonna pay for it, who simply say I don't want to or I think I don't need it right you know and remember the individual mandate the provision in the affordable care act that mandated that everyone have insurance was repealed as a part of the tax cuts bill that passed Congress during the trumpet ministration but yet so the for the first 2019. People won't have, to have insurance so that could be a number are that could be contributing to the number of people that also are having insurance but also it's I think it's really important point that the largest drop of people without insurance was those above 300 or 400% of the federal poverty level. So these are people that are making enough money to afford insurance but there they can't afford the premiums that are available to them without any subsidies. Of these the people that are dropping and that's the inherent flaw of the affordable care act that if these people don't get work or don't get insurance from work and their only option is the affordable care act and the plans aren't affordable then what good does that do so that's what we saw as those people at the higher end of the income level weren't getting subsidies and couldn't afford it in there dropping the most and so you have the trumpet ministration with their healthcare executive order to bolster Association health plan.

Short-term, limited duration insurance and health reimbursement account accounts as were specifically aimed at the population that can't afford affordable care act plans anymore. Let's talk a little bit more about each of those Sam let's start with the short term plans and it happened to me during my career. I know people that this is happened to. For one reason or another you find yourself without insurance and you need kind of a bridge right to your next job or whatever you need it for six months may be needed for a year is that what that part of the Trump executive orders trying to address yet in short-term plans been around for a while, but the affordable or the Obama administration really limited their use only three months and so the Trump administration expanded that secret home for a lot longer now and renew them up to a couple years so it's exactly for that scenario you're talking about where you're in between jobs out of college looking for a job and you can pick up a short-term plan doesn't have to abide by all the affordable care act's rules, but that makes it much more affordable and you still have a little peace of mind that you have some protection if anything were to happen.

That's an important point you bring up the Obama care mandates. Just give us a quick primer on that and why those premiums can be so expensive right so with the affordable care act was implemented. They mandated that 10 essential health benefits must be covered in all plans that are sold on the affordable care act exchanges, and we know about health insurance mandates is that when you required an insurer to provide a benefit that has to be spread across the entire risk pool and that increases cost for everyone so you know someone in the same list was medium. It might may need maternity coverage but I don't and so you know mandating that across-the-board raises cost for everyone. So those big driver of cost of premiums were all those benefit mandates that the affordable care act required Association health plan. She been writing a lot about those as well and then started to read more and more hear people talk about those.

And that's part of the trumpet ministration executive order to try to offer more choices share to people how they work well. So Association health plans allow groups of individuals or small businesses to band together and by large group health insurance through a trade association or business association. Previously, individuals and small businesses would their only option were to buy health insurance on the individual market, and as we been talking about here.

While times is plans aren't affordable so they would either go without insurance or to be struggling to pay those bills.

And when you can as individuals or small groups when you can get together as a large group you can really know reduce the price of insurance make it much more affordable and provide people who may not have had insurance before with insurance so it's a good we think it's a good policy. So that's coming from the trumpet ministration now does the state of North Carolina have to do anything in its statutes in order to make sure that those AHP's actually are active in an option for people yeah and luckily North Carolina did pass a bill to open up and allow Association health plans to be sold forcefully. They can be sold. Right now there's some federal litigation, trying to figure out you know exactly what the final rule means and others been some challenges to it.

So hopefully we'll get that figured out the Trump administration's appealing that ruling right now so hopefully sooner North Carolina people will be able to buy insurance through Association health plan amazing arm, maybe not so amazing that there would be a legal challenge to offering people more options. Unfortunately Isaac example you've written about in terms of these AHP's is like realtors right independent workers, and who they band together with in order to have that group power.

That's what that's all about absolutely so they can get together with other realtors than the same line of business there similar interest in South North Carolina realtors Association could design benefit plans that you know us whole host of plans that meet the needs of their members, and so there's a real incentive there. You know, provide good coverage for your trade trade members do you feel like we are making progress towards opening up things and giving people more choices and trying to end increase the access to an affordable health insurance policy. Yeah, I think that the executive order from the trumpet ministration. To do this but you know I think repealing the affordable care act and giving the states for power would unleash a host of choices, but in the absence of repeal the affordable care act, the Trump administration has done this through executive order to try to just increase any choices and that's what they did to this Executive Order. That's what Jordan Roberts writes about. You can find all of his work at John Mark that work also Carolina Thank you. That's all the time we have for the program this week.

Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Donna Martinez hope you'll join us again next week for another edition, Carolina journal Carolina journal radio is a program of the job.

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