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Carolina Journal Radio No. 852: New law takes another step against N.C. overcriminalization

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
September 16, 2019 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 852: New law takes another step against N.C. overcriminalization

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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September 16, 2019 8:00 am

Gov. Roy Cooper recently signed into law Senate Bill 584. It marks the latest step in an ongoing campaign to fight overcriminalization in North Carolina. Mike Schietzelt, John Locke Foundation criminal justice fellow, explains how the new legislation fits with the goal of cleaning up the state’s overly complicated criminal code. Overly burdensome occupational licensing rules restrict economic freedom in both North Carolina and South Carolina. During a recent meeting in Winston-Salem, the group Classical Liberals in the Carolinas learned how. Jon Sanders, John Locke Foundation director of regulatory studies, focused attention on North Carolina’s licensing restrictions. Jennifer McDonald, senior research analyst at the Institute for Justice, offered details about South Carolina’s rules. U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., wants to do more to speed up the pace of government hurricane relief. Before Hurricane Dorian approached the N.C. coast, Tillis returned to Raleigh to discuss a bill that could help local governments bypass some layers of red tape in securing federal relief funding. Some state lawmakers want public schools to place more emphasis on phonics in early reading instruction. Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus, tried to amend a recent education bill to mandate phonics instruction in the earliest elementary school grades. You’ll hear highlights from N.C. House debate of Pittman’s proposal. Without Cooper’s signature, the Small Business Health Care Act recently became law in North Carolina. It opens the door to Association Health Plans for small business owners and their employees. Jordan Roberts, John Locke Foundation health care policy analyst, assesses the significance of AHPs and their role in health care reform.

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From Cherokee to current attack from 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 I Michiko got during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state occupational licensing rules restrict economic freedom. A recent presentation in Winston-Salem focused on the impact for both North Carolina and South Carolina.

You'll hear highlights North Carolina's junior US Sen. Tom Tillis wants to speed up federal hurricane disaster relief.

You learn how he's pursuing that goal in Congress are North Carolina legislators hooked on phonics you'll hear debate about a recent proposal involving early public school reading instruction and will explain how the small business healthcare act could benefit thousands of North Carolina workers and small business owners involve something called Association health plans.

Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline over the years. Many North Carolina laws and rules have added to the list of activities deemed to be crimes in North Carolina. Things got so convoluted that the John Locke foundation is now working to help provide lawmakers with knowledge and the best way to modernize what's known as the criminal code to make it more clear, more efficient and more fair. This reform effort recently took a pretty big step forward in the John Locke foundation's legal fellow Mike sheets Al is here to help us understand what is happening. Mike welcome back to the show.

Thank you. First of all when we say criminal code. What we talking about here right were talking about everything that's a crime in North Carolina so the general statutes, the common law, the code of ordinances for each town and city and county strata, not just a murder, robbery, anything like that. Anything from murder robbery to your local ordinances against any panhandling or letting your lawn go to tolls when we talked about a lot.

It appears that what's happened is that over the many decades. Everybody is just kinda piled on whether it's your local city Council or the state legislature and for one reason or another they decided that certain things are crime and it's all kind of buried in mountains of paperwork and you are here saying hey, wait a second, we need to figure out where everything else where it exists and what makes sense and what doesn't. Right there. It was started with the common law when we first colony was the common law, the legislature, took on the onus of adding to the common law for a while and then in the late 19th century. They delegated it out to local governments as well in courses that would be administrative state is risen up. They delegated that authority also to ministry to agencies so it's just kinda a problem of how much we delegated howl little oversight there is over all of this and it's just grown unchecked. McAuley just use the word metastasized this morning about and I think that's a good way to describe it, and in a lot of cases it you have written about this@johnlocke.org, that people can run afoul of the law have no idea that they have technically committed a crime in North Carolina until someone calls him on it and they end up trying to fight some sort of legal battle and they just don't even know it.

So because of all of that.

You have really taken on this effort to try to help lawmakers understand where everything is and they taken some very interesting and positive steps forward for so tell us about what is already in place which is called and this is a mouthful. The criminal law re-codification working group. What is that really mean my brightness of the recodification working group was never actually a formalized group that was put into the bill was in the title of the bill. There was a group of people from the ministry office and courts from law enforcement legislators who are interested in tackling this problem. Also in the academic community in the policy community. So we got a group together that had been working on these issues, discussing where this needed to go and the first thing was well. We need to get this information and we don't we don't know exactly where to start until we have all the information in front of us about what is criminal so that bill the recodification working group will ask cities, counties, municipal sewerage districts what and in administrative agencies for this information. What is criminal in your jurisdiction. What crimes have you defined now. This legislative session, there has been a step forward here that you written about in three different things in particular are going to occur that you say you you write about are really going to benefit North Carolinians.

Let's talk about those first of all, I'm you write about an incentive for local governments to actually submit reports on all this right so that in the response rate to the first request the work working group bill was low and probably part of the reason for that is will a it's it's cumbersome but be.

There was nothing there and there was there was no carrot, no stick or hate who they didn't have any incentive to respond to this. What this bill does is it if you can creates the incentive if if local governments above a certain population threshold don't respond, then their ability to create new crimes are defined new crimes within their jurisdiction is frozen for peer to two years, while the Gen. assembly gets the information it needs from their code of ordinances such an important step forward now hopefully will have a high response rate with a high response rate more accurate information to move forward with. You also write about something called automatic legislative review help us understand what that is and how that's can help right so that's that's more oriented toward the agencies administrative agencies. They pass rules.

These rules define criminal conduct.

Usually that the legislature will have delegated that authority to them, saying, any rule promulgated under this article, the violation of any rule promulgated under this article carry class II misdemeanor something like that so now whenever an agency passes a rule like that. The rule will automatically have to be reviewed by the Gen. assembly through their rules review process of the general simile can essentially veto it was it was will allow civil penalties for this crime, but were not going to allow it to two rocket all allow the agency were not allow law enforcement to impose a criminal penalty for this violation. My present pushback from local governments M is this was all being debated. There was there was quite a bit of pushback be the earlier versions of this bill were a bit more ambitious and wanted to put up and to the prox to the practice of automatically criminalizing local ordinances are most local ordinances and then also did put a sunset on the local ordinances are already criminal. There was a understandably I think a lot of pushback.

Bill received hit a lot of headwinds in that process.

He wants to give up power.

That's his Wager and as soon as somebody else comes along and says hey your doctor to be able to do this you gotta stop that naturally hackles, right NAV of course, law enforcement relies on this is as an enforcement mechanism. If if somebody doesn't have property or for example you civil penalties are going to be quite as effective in enforcing the law, the users, no property to attach that the civil penalty to we can say pay us the $250 or we will seize your car or something like that, Minnesota. It gets kinda hard when you're enforcing a noise ordinance against the college student who doesn't have any property in the area with you so that there was a lot of understandable pushback from the groups representing local governments and we got a lot of positive feedback on that I think will help us move forward in this process more effectively. My guess I've been reading your writings on this and all of this of course is available@johnlock.org it's been amazing to me to learn about the fact that things are so different from city to county across the state from regions you have because you have local governing boards who are going about their business send and they are enacting these things and then you know counties that are three or four counties away.

Maybe doing something completely different. That leads me to the next item that you write about that you say is so important in this new legislation and that is consistency. Statewide right you know uniformity is a goal that we should strive for with the criminal law. In particular, because again you're talking about the, the state's ability to seize your your life, liberty, or property, and so there needs to be. To the extent possible uniformity in the rules across the state now practically.

It's kind of hard to make that a reality. But to the extent possible, it's what we should strive for Mike sheets else is the legal fellow for the John Locke foundation. He's working on this whole effort to help reform North Carolina's criminal code and you can read about the latest step forward@johnlock.org Mike, thank you for joining us for having this much more 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@carolinajournal.com 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.

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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 journal.com Carolina journal rigorous unrelenting old-school journalism. We hold government accountable for you. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I Michiko guy. Most of us expect certain jobs like being a medical doctor to require a license licensing for some jobs seems to create more problems than it solves.

During the recent annual meeting of the group. Classical liberals in the Carolinas and expert panel focused on the impact of occupational licensing in both North and South Carolina.

John Sanders is director of regulatory studies at the John Locke foundation. He says North Carolina has a long history of placing access to jobs under government control, I was struck a few years ago reading Milton Friedman's capitalism and freedom, and in this section on occupational licensing. He quoted this economist Walter Gellhorn, who noted that his early as long ago as 1938, a single state, North Carolina had extended its law, talk about licensing to 60 occupations so that it's been a long problem longtime problem in North Carolina 60 occupations in 1938. How many boards and agencies are we talking about North Carolina now in 2014. Two separate state groups try to get a count of how many occupational licensing boards to work the program evaluation division, which is the research arm of the general simile. Their study and they came up with 55. That same year, the state auditor being an auditor to a slightly better study came out with 57 but the auditor noted in so doing that one of the problems with oversight over occupational licensing boards and the regulations North Carolina's is really hard to get a good count.

We are at 58 now. Thank you to an additional board added in 2015.

Center says it's important to look beyond just the number of licensing boards.

I'm more concerned about how many occupations fall under licensing under state licensure. So there's an official count provided by the Commerce Department in the website: C careers.net where they list hundred 81 separate occupations, but I noticed last year and noticed earlier this year that occupations that have come under media for one reason or another I look them up online and are not listed numbers can get even more confusing another count from the official documents is that there are over 700 regulated acts different acts to fall under scope of practice, but the count of which is a licensed occupation really depends on how broadly an occupational licensing board interpreted scope of practice and also I say depends on the division of labor, our chief whiteners practice is it is it an act or is it something that someone does for living at a kiosk in the mall is hair braiding a profession or is it something that someone does.

As part of license cosmetology. I don't know how many things could be interpreted as not as an occupation that should fall under licensing if and if an OLB decides that's in my scope of practice some entrepreneur could see the make a living out of that so trying to find the exact official count be difficult but we got hundred 81. As it turns out there are 22% of the state workforce is received licensing help is North Carolina compared to other states when it comes to licensing, serving as an economic barrier calendar has for example, 641 different disqualifications for licensure for people who have conviction records.

We have a lot of instances in the code where we want to make sure that people have good moral character, which is not strict. Flesh out very well.

That's second in the southeast, only Florida is worse than these numbers are from the National employment Law Project Wisconsin Institute for Law liberty looked at how how much red tape goes into getting licenses in North Carolina. Their study placed us squarely in the middle of the pack as far as the burden of getting the occupational license. It's not comprehensive. It looks at several licenses or several occupations that are licensed across the 50 United States, but I think it's a pretty good indication of where we are were not great were not terrible were right in the middle of the pack as far as lower income occupations.

The Institute for Justice has a really good study right to work and put us at 17th among states in how many restrictions we have on the lower income occupations.

Speaking of the Institute for Justice. The Institute's senior research analyst Jenny McDonald discussed the groups report during the panel discussion.

We look hundred and two lower income occupations, and we rank all of the states in terms of how many of these occupations. They license as well as how onerous Lee they license and so when you combine both of those. I think it'sanybody that California is the worst number one and ranking on South Carolina's number 22 so not terrible, but it could do a lot better when you want to get a license in South Carolina. You're going to spend around $220 for the average license you have to take two exams and you're gonna spend considerably more than a year in education and training in order to get that license but South Carolina also has some occupations that are particularly bad when it comes to the licensing burdens so that painting contractors and commercial floor Sanders are only licensed by fewer than half the states across the country, if not everybody licenses it.

What is the health and safety argument for the requirement of that license and South Carolina.

But not only that South Carolina requires 50% more education and experience to obtain that license than the others who require the license. So not only is not everybody think it's necessary at all, but South Carolina requires two years when everybody else requires considerably less time than I'm so those are just couple of examples that highlight the irrationality of occupational licensing in South Carolina.

Specifically, McDonald pointed to evidence that suggests some licenses required too much time for education and training.

I think our favorite example is when you look at emergency medical technicians who are not paramedics but the first people on the scene when there is a car accident or some other stern license in South Carolina. Just 34 days in that short amount of licensing time is pretty consistent across the country. So then explained to me why it takes three times as long to become a licensed makeup artist or 10 times as long to become a licensed carpenter, South Carolina again that health and safety argument that the licensing boards like to make falls short here.

McDonald noted the impact of licensing on consumers in South Carolina and across the country being a room of economists will know a monopoly on the economics behind that allow for individuals to increase their own wages charge higher prices and provide lower quality service with that lack of competition and that's what we see with licensing boards across across the board.

If you are particularly interesting example is African style hair braiding so there are some states that are better than others in that they don't require a full on cosmetology license in order to break these specialty licenses that they have take a range of hours to complete. Now South Carolina is particularly good because it only requires six hours of sanitation training in order to get that greater license compared to over 400 hours in Oklahoma and so when we study the effects of these we are looking originally at the health and safety effectively found no health and safety effect when it came to lower licensing regulations, but we did find a significant effect on the concentration of breakers so South Carolina has 12 vibrators per 10,000 black residents done other states with stricter licensing requirements for raters so that just shows the very real impact of low income individuals that are being kept out of a job because of these licensing requirements. That's Jenny McDonald of the Institute for Justice speaking recently during a panel addressing the downside of occupational licensing in North Carolina and South Carolina.

It was part of the annual meeting of the group. Classical liberals in the Carolinas will return with more Carolina journal radio with 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 conservative.com it's one stop shopping for North Carolina's freedom movement@northcarolinaconservative.com. You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina journal.com reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and Locke foundation analysts, opinion pieces and reports on higher education from the 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.

That's right, all in one place North Carolina conservative.com that's North Carolina spelled out conservative.com North Carolina conservative.com. Try it today. North Carolina is changing not just day-to-day but outward to our minute to minute and 2nd to 2nd, how can you keep up with the changes, especially the ones that affect you, your family, your home, your job, make the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal part of your social media diet on Facebook like the John Locke foundation like Carolina.

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But here's what's better. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon smile purchases to the John Locke foundation to try it. Be sure to designate as the nonprofit you want to support. It's that easy. So now not only will you enjoy what you buy. You also support freedom. Don't forget log on to smile.amazon.com today, something nice and help defend freedom, help support the John Mott foundation. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I Michiko got US Sen. Tom Tillis once to see quicker action on hurricane relief. He explained why.

During a recent news conference in Raleigh. Tillis started by focusing on hurricane Matthew with hours before landfall last two of them are here in the room working on what we could do to make sure that the funds would be available as quickly as possible. We were able to secure about two $36 million Monday within a matter of weeks after the storm that $236 million in funding.

Only 7% of it has been spent over the last 500. Now if you're a storm. If you're someone who was hit by Matthew promised a bio didn't get the bio rebuild your home and had it destroyed in Florence got a be asking the question, why is about money flowing sooner.

That's the question were asked.

There may be a legitimate answer to four portion of it, but it's hard to believe that it would be for all of where out there every day in Washington trying to fight for additional funding. We know we need funding for recovery.

We need funding for resiliency, but I will tell you ladies and gentlemen, it hurts our case when were designated as a slow spender.

It hurts our case with other states that absorb very similar damage same to a big seem to be doing much much better for filing a bill to address some of the concerns we've heard about going out into the communities talk into the county and city governments, Democrats and Republicans alike to figure out how we can solve this problem and get the resources to the people who needed the businesses the counties the child's and most importantly, the families, many of whom have been out of their home for hundreds of days our bill and the proposal inflation will be putting for is fairly straightforward for communities that we feel like for communities who choose to. We want to stand up a capability within HUD to give them a direct flight to federal agencies to get the money to them as quickly as possible.

Sadly, so many of these communities are pretty good at responding to disaster because they had to experience him so much more were called on the governor to give us answers to questions about why the money has been spent will look at them objectively determine whether or not it was the linkage with the federal government the needs also holding the federal government accountable in the same way we did with the initial response when we solve actions by FEMA that we thought it made sense we work with FEMA to say. Are you constrained by the law or you got a process or procedure that needs change. In many cases they just change minor things that US Sen. Tom Tillis Republican from North Carolina.

He's outlining concerns about the state response to federal hurricane disaster relief. Tillis wants to see a quicker response will return with more Carolina journal radio in a moment where doubling 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 and@johnlocke.org/podcast 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 headlock@johnlocke.org/podcast 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 I Michiko Kai are North Carolina lawmakers who on phonics based on a recent debate in the statehouse. The answer is no Republican state representative Larry Pittman wanted to amend an education reform bill explained how support of this plan intensive phonics instruction shall be given to each student.

At least through first grade when it say what I want to do that sometimes we discard the so-called old fashion way of doing something just because it's old fashion without stopping to think the fact that it has worked so well for so long.

Phonics means how you put words together is what it's about, not to have phonics like we did when I was a kid, is like trying to teach somebody to lay brick when you don't teach them the relationship time brick-and-mortar Pittman offered personal examples supporting phonics instruction were so Sam was in third grade I was concerned all over the state about third-graders not being able to read our son couldn't read in the third grade. We try to help them become the world's he sounded out here no idea what we meant this one realized it would be until phonics and school hadn't been so we homeschooling was started in phonics and before you know what he was reading a lot better and eventually got read very well so I think this is one example of the difference.

The opposite example is my own experience my mama or grandma was usually about me about that when I was seven years old in the second grade and I said then maybe start reading six chapters a day and understood it. Why because we had phonics throughout the first grade. The whole year. We have phonics so I knew how to read, get second grade phonics is something that does not need to be left behind, relegated to the dustbin of history needs is something we need to bring back Pittman also wants teachers to learn how to teach phonics. This instruction shall include a three credit hour course so dedicated to the teaching of phonics in American English system to prepare teachers to know how to be able to teach phonics as it needs to be done so our kids can learn to read Pittman one some support from Democratic colleagues, including Mary Ann Black of Durham, I would preferred that it would go beyond first grade and I understand what representative Pittman is saying. I don't know what the dollar amount would be to teach this with hope that it does not increase what it would cost to teach children on phonics, but if they don't understand phonics, then it becomes very hard to read. Democrat Charles Graham of Robison County also spoke in favor Pittman's plan. We were talking about teaching to read. We know all children do not learn the same way phonics is a different way to work with some students who may not be able to understand whole language reading and you know we've done this in the past we've had our children be exposed to different levels or different types of reading instruction and knowing that phonics works with some students is not something that all students need to be exposed to with our students in our system who cannot read they cannot decode words they can cannot comprehend because they're trying to understand the written language and in phonics is is a good method is a proven method but Larry Pittman's proposal for mandatory phonics instruction through first grade hit a roadblock Republican Craig Horn of Union County wants to give more flexibility to the Department of Public instruction to convene people. Experts in this in these fields come back with a plan phonics on the blog will put phonics but one could question how effective that was based on my ability to express myself. Nevertheless, at this point, I suggest you as much as I like the idea. I'm not at all certain that it needs to be.

As it says in this amendment shall not mandate that needs to be thrust into the process. At this point, I'm interested in listing to the experts as we should all be there to drive our decision rather than make a decision support Democrat Ashton Clemens of Guilford County also raised objections children to read that are considered part of reading instruction, comprehension, vocabulary is more important than another five to help a child. Ultimately, both accessible and reading. There are some children who are strong. That means reading like you talk, but are not strong at phonics that have been intensive phonics instruction to children for him phonics for this, but I cannot read fluently.

Town needs to me and practice that's prescribing an ever infant negatively affect. In my opinion the reading of children reading plan for instruction on whichever area in place and proudly reading at our state Republican Hugh Blackwell question the idea of mandating phonics instruction for all kindergartners and first graders. The point of this bill is to try to address the particular issues of individuals by assessing what they individually need and what each one individually needs may well be different is represented Clemens just said from others, to have a blanket requirement that everybody got to spend a year on phonics, even if they get it in the first three months of the first half of the year is counterproductive. Those children could be working on other needs that they have as represented volume said though I think he reached the wrong conclusion on the amendment.

Each child is different and for that reason we don't need a blanket requirement.

We need to understand that the bill allows for DPI to look into these things and it provides for individual rating, which is the direction that we need to go, not one-size-fits-all Republican Michael speciality of Craven County endorsed the phonics mandate.

When I went to school. By the time we went to eighth grade. Most of us knew how to read and write. Unlike today, so mom are graduating college and still do not have not been able to grasp the proper grammar and decent reading and writing.

I read some stuff that is embarrassing but it phonics was taught it was taught all the kids and this would help all the kids to read and write most the kids that I left because at that time. It's time that I went through a time that many of you in this room went through some kids eighth grade was as far as you were going to go or 10th grade was as far as you were going to go so what you got out of high school at which got out of great schools all you were going to get. It was effective. Most of the people in my age group can read and write most the people in our age group can read and write younger folks are having a problem is the younger folks whose literacy is in question is because of changes made in the school systems. Larry Pittman summed up his support for mandatory phonics instruction through first grade. This is the basics.

This is fundamental to reading and you know disco still way that many, that is not good that it wasn't right that it didn't work. The house voted down Pittman's plan, but a unanimous house supported additional study of the value of phonics instruction overture Whitmore Carolina general radio involvement real 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 complaint or name call. We provide research solutions and hope our team analyzes the pressing issues of the day jobs, healthcare, education, and more.

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We are the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina general radio Martinez North Carolina has now notched a victory for healthcare access and healthcare choice Association health plans known as AHP's will now be an option for self-employed business owners and small businesses in our state, John Mott foundation's Jordan Roberts who is our healthcare policy analyst is joining us now to tell us about the opportunity in the benefits we are likely to see because of this Jordan went back to the shellfish government.

First of all his talk a little bit about the predicament of a small business owner in accessing and providing a health insurance for employees.

Sam, it's not been an easy thing.

That's right, you will receive the last couple years, especially after the affordable care act was put in the place that individuals buying insurance by themselves and small businesses are really having trouble affording the plans that are on the affordable care act exchanges and relieves these businesses and individuals with a limited number of options and maybe even going without insurance because of that affordability problem and so what Association health plans do is they give a new opportunity to small businesses with generally less than about 50 people or individuals who buy insurance on their own to group together ban together and buy insurance is a large group and you know get some more affordable plans outweigh sounds commonsensical to me.

Why did we have to pass a law to allow these to even occur right so in the affordable care act was signed in place, the Obama administration really curtailed the use of Association health plans made it very difficult to you know come together to make one and so now with these new rules from the Trump administration. They reopened them back up and you know are created more flexibility, more opportunity for groups to get together and buy insurance through a large group through an association give us an example of how this might work. Are we talking about an industry trying to group together or by region or location share. So the rule as written by the Trump administration. I must say it's going through some legal troubles in the court right now. There's been some states have sued over but you figured out soon will be allowed to sell all of these different types of plans but you know what the plans I really do is they allow groups of similar trade, industry, or similar regions to group together and buy a plan as a large group in that area. So for example, one of the big supporters here. North Carolina was the realtors Association. Now most realtors are working on their own or just a small group so there insurance options were limited. But now with an Association health plan North Carolina realtors Association can purchase a plan and allow their member employer's the groups. Individuals that belong to the group to you by a plan together with other realtors and get a large group plan that way. This sounds like great news option, and for some people you mention those folks in realtors and I can think of other groups as well, where they have really been stuck trying to buy on their own. Just as a one person going out into the private market, particularly if someone makes too much money to qualify for some sort of a subsidy through Obama care they been stuck.

But this, this seems to really be opening things up so that they could choose what works for them. It also has its critics of course are AHP's do now. The big thing that tech critics seem to have been saying about AHP's is that they would not cover pre-existing conditions.

Tell us about that.

Yeah, so this really comes out of the way you word this so you know when the big things that the affordable care act.

It was that it mandated all these individual and small group plans had to cover this. These list of 10 essential health benefits could deny people for previous existing conditions and can't really charge more than a 3 to 1 ratio of premiums based on health status and so what this does now is it allows these groups to come together and buy insurance and the rules that are placed on these insurance plans are the same as the large group market. So what you see is while the mandate isn't there for all different types of coverage. No one can be denied for pre-existing conditions. So while the plans don't have as many mandates as the affordable care act plans overseeing those these plans are still covering your robe robust set of benefits, and so people are really getting the coverage they need. You and I are both believers in the free market and consumer demand really helping businesses including insurance companies and to move towards what their potential customers want is it.

Is it reasonable to think of a scenario where let's say group comes together, they form an Association health plan and then they find that there is something in particular that a lot of their members are saying they would like to have part of it health insurance plan and for them to eat, then use their power to go to insurance companies and say this is what were looking for can you offer this to us, and if so, what's the price that's right you said this is a more market-driven plan where the members and the associations are choosing what benefits that their members need rather than a government mandated slate of benefits that drives the cost when you're not really using Mac as a group of farmers are group of all-male farmers doesn't need mandated maternity coverage so it's things like this that you know we can really get down to what the what these folks need there in similar trade and industry group similar regions that have similar health needs so you know it's really more tailored to the individual and it gives these folks are a lot more options to buy insurance on the market for the longest time.

Jordan I think you and I probably talked about it on this program as well. When we thought about reforming health insurance and in trying to expand access to care within it came down to a question of wealth. We have the affordable care act as the law of the land right now so that needs to be repealed to letter the marketplace work. What my observation is that what is happening is that the affordable care act is still in place yet somehow another, and perhaps it's through executive orders from the Trump administration, allowing states, more options with AHP's being one is, is that fair to characterize it that way absolutely receive a lot of states that are you know applying for these waivers to really take control of their insurance markets and allow these different options outside of the affordable care act to be sold and the winners.

They are really the patients and especially those individuals or small groups that really didn't have any other option except the affordable care act, but the Trump administration was really done a wonderful job of increasing different choices and just allowing patients to make the best decision on what type of health coverage they need what they can afford and you know around the market to flourish and offer these options during you've also written about another pathway towards more access send out more affordable care and you've written that there actually state laws and regulations in place right now that lawmakers in our state could change those laws to put pressure downward pressure on prices telling us tell us about some of the options where we could without having to go to the federal government makes changes positive changes here. Yes, so you know that the delivery level you know there's a lot of changes we can make. Specifically, certificate of need laws repealing those to allow you know private actors rather than the government decided where healthcare facilities can be there's restrictions on nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurse nurses in the state where if we were to remove those restrictions. We could really, you know open up the access in rural areas. Hopefully you know it.

More nurses practicing out there. You know there's plenty of insurance mandates that, like we said those mandates on insurance add calls for patients.

The past right on the patient. So there's a lot of value. No supply-side reforms. We can do to drive down price along with giving people other options of insurance coverage and you know that's what we think a good, healthy, robust market would look like. Jordan Roberts is the healthcare policy analyst for the John Locke foundation. He has written extensively about all of these healthcare issues and you can find all of that analysis John Locke.org also Carolina Journal.com.

Thank you very much that's all the time we have for the program this week. Appreciate you listening on behalf of my cohost Mitch Elkind, I'm Donna Martinez hope you'll join us again next week for another edition. Carolina Journal radio Carolina Journal radio is a program of the John Locke to learn more about the John Locke foundation donations that support programs like Carolina Journal send email to John Locke or call 166 GLS 16655466 Carolina Journal radio is the John line foundation airline is maintaining Carolina broadcasting system, Inc. all opinions expressed on this program are so clearly the station for more information about the show.

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