RALEIGH: NC legislators at odds on insurance mandate stay - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

NC legislators at odds on insurance mandate stay

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina lawmakers reached an impasse on disputed legislation surrounding autism insurance coverage and the federal health care overhaul before the first gavel fell Wednesday to open this year's session.

A General Assembly study committee examining the effects of the federal health care law on the state canceled its meeting after leaders again couldn't gather enough members to do business.

The panel also had tried twice to meet Tuesday but failed to get quorums each time. Most House members stayed away in protest of proposed legislation that would place an 18-month moratorium on new insurance mandates, according to legislators.

Some stayed away because they feared it would conflict with a bill passed by the House last year requiring health insurance providers to cover autism diagnosis and treatment. Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, has been a champion of the autism community.

"I think any time you have three committee meetings in a row that members don't show up that's probably an organized effort," said Rep. Charles Jeter, R-Mecklenburg, a committee member.

Committee co-chairmen said the draft legislation was designed to address concerns by committee members in recent weeks about an unstable insurance market due to the federal health care overhaul.

"The problem that we're attempting to address is to essentially identify some predictability going forward in the insurance-related market - that's all it was," said Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, R-Cabarrus and a committee co-chairman.

Another co-chairman, Rep. Jeff Collins, R-Nash and one of a handful of House members to vote against the autism insurance mandate, said the committee's draft bill was changed to begin the moratorium next year - giving time for mandate supporters to pass their bill during the session. But "that wasn't good enough for some of them," Collins said.

Two autism-related groups seeking the mandate brought supporters, parents and their children to this week's meetings. The debate is further complicated because Tillis has recognized Autism Speaks while running for the U.S. Senate. He wore a lapel pin shaped liked a puzzle piece - a symbol of the group - in a campaign television ad.

Tillis, who wants the federal health care law repealed, said Wednesday at a news conference that mandate issues should be looked at on a case-by-case basis, depending on the service. "There's got to be a clear benefit to it" for North Carolina citizens. He said he expects a resolution fairly quickly.

Lorri Unumb, a vice president with Autism Speaks, said group members will remain vigilant on the issue throughout the session. Tillis, Unumb said, has "been extremely involved and pledged his support to the autism community a year ago and has lived up to that ever since."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • NC flags lowered on day of Fulghum service

    NC flags lowered on day of Fulghum service

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:11 AM EDT2014-07-23 09:11:02 GMT
    A first-term North Carolina legislator who died last weekend will be formally remembered within state government and at the church he attended for decades.
    A first-term North Carolina legislator who died last weekend will be formally remembered within state government and at the church he attended for decades.
  • NC counties see sales tax changes in Senate bill

    NC counties see sales tax changes in Senate bill

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:46:55 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    Four large North Carolina counties would see their authority to raise sales taxes scaled back in Senate legislation that its Republican supporters say would level the playing field across the state in generating revenue.
    Four large North Carolina counties would see their authority to raise sales taxes scaled back in Senate legislation that its Republican supporters say would level the playing field across the state in generating revenue.
  • State: Ex-Tarboro town manager used funds inappropriately

    State: Ex-Tarboro town manager used funds inappropriately

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:10 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:10:06 GMT

    The state auditor’s report determined that the former town manager “made nearly $366,000 of purchases" that were inappropriate.

    The state auditor’s report determined that the former town manager “made nearly $366,000 of purchases" that were inappropriate.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:08:35 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • Houston school district holds 2nd job fair in Raleigh

    Houston school district holds 2nd job fair in Raleigh

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:27 AM EDT2014-07-23 10:27:25 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    A Texas school district is once again holding a job fair for teachers in Raleigh.
    A Texas school district is once again holding a job fair for teachers in Raleigh.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.