RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper will let a bipartisan health insurance measure become law without his signature.
Cooper, a Democrat, had until midnight Sunday to sign the bill, veto it or let it become law without his signature.
It was pushed through the legislature with help from several of North Carolina’s largest trade organizations.
Supporters say Association Health Plans will make coverage more affordable to people like farmers and small business owners.
But Cooper said in a statement Sunday that he has concerns about the legality of these “cheaper plans.”
He says they could take the state back to a time when “people can be discriminated against for pre-existing conditions.”
Cooper vetoed a budget bill earlier in the summer in large part due to health insurance coverage – namely the absence of Medicaid expansion.
Here is the full statement from Cooper released Sunday afternoon:
“People have a right to be frustrated with the cost of private health insurance plans, but even though there is significant bipartisan support for this legislation, my concerns about the legality of these cheaper plans and their potential negative effects on health care prevent me from signing the bill. These plans, if they survive legal challenge, can take us back to a time when people can be discriminated against for pre-existing conditions in addition to driving up health care costs for everyone else. A proven and effective way most other states have used to drive down the cost of private health insurance has been to accept the billions of federal dollars to expand Medicaid. We must find a bipartisan way to do this too.”