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Legislative committee debates impact of ACA in NC

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A legislative committee listens to testimony on the impact of the Affordable Care Act in North Carolina. A legislative committee listens to testimony on the impact of the Affordable Care Act in North Carolina.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Another skirmish in the battle over Obamacare played out Tuesday in the halls of the General Assembly.

As a legislative committee prepared to examine the impact of the Affordable Care Act in North Carolina, supporters of the law held a briefing claiming the committee had already come to the conclusion that it doesn't work.

Click Here to view the committee agenda

A half dozen medical professionals joined several people who are receiving insurance under ACA to say the law is working in the state. North Carolina is one of the top five in the country for ACA enrollments.

About 200,000 have signed up for coverage in the state, including Kimberly Tonyan, a single mother of twins who had no health insurance for 10 years. She now pays a $27.91 per month premium.

"We got through the website with no problems, no stalls," she said. "It didn't kick me off, I didn't wait online for hours to get an appointment. It worked great."

Meanwhile the legislature's study committee on the Affordable Care Act spent the afternoon hearing from people who talked about the negative impact Obamacare is having, and will have, on North Carolina.

Their lead off witness was from Duke University.

"In my view, the ACA has us headed literally in the wrong direction toward bigger government," said Dr. Chris Conover, healthcare policy researcher for Duke University. "[We're] handing far too much control over what used to be private patient decisions ... handing these to the most dysfunctional part of American government.

"That's why I'm encouraged by efforts by Sen. [Richard] Burr and others to repeal this misguided law," he told the committee.

Although those mostly outspokenly opposed to ACA identify themselves as Republican, Retta Riordan contests that healthcare is anything but a political issue.

She is self-employed and said she needed knee surgery, but couldn't afford it before the ACA.

"It's not politics -- not political at all," Riordan said. "It's very personal to me. It's made a huge difference, and now I can get real healthcare."

That committee is tasked with presenting its findings to the full General Assembly by the start of the short session in May.

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Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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