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While we’ve been waiting on Tim Moore to realize he doesn’t have the budget votes, House Republicans keep failing North Carolinians on health care.

by Hannah Hogewood

Last week Rep. Brandon Lofton (D-Mecklenburg) tried to amend an omnibus health care bill that changes several laws regulating different aspects of the broad health care industry. His amendment, which would have increased price transparency for prescription drugs, was ruled out of order. 

At a time when drug prices for many North Carolinians are skyrocketing, Republicans voted down one method of mitigating increased costs.

Lofton’s amendment would have required drug manufacturers give 60 days’ notice of any price increases and provide public justification for the increase. A study published in January found that the rising cost of prescription drugs is due to manufacturer price hikes, not new technology or improvements.

Republicans also voted down a measure that would have protected access to affordable health care for North Carolinians with preexisting conditions.

Earlier this year Senate Republicans passed a measure to allow small business owners to use Trump administration Association Health Plans instead of full-coverage health care plans for employees. The House made a few clarifying changes before passage, but Rep. Sydney Batch offered an amendment to protect coverage for people with preexisting conditions. AHPs could make chronic care patients jump through more hoops or pay higher deductibles. Batch’s amendment would have remedied that, but Republicans voted it down.

Republicans aren’t just refusing to expand access to affordable health care for 600K North Carolinians, they’re also refusing to protect people with preexisting conditions or are facing the rising cost of medicine. Instead, Republicans are siding with businesses and the drug industry.