Folwell: Fed court’s ruling puts viability and longevity of state health plan at risk

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled that the NC State Health Plan violates customers’ rights under the “equal protection clause” of The US Constitution by not paying for sex change / “gender-affirming”  procedures.

I was under the impression that the original intent of the equal protection clause was to ensure the law was applied the same to everybody.  *None of this “sex reassignment for you, but not for YOU” stuff.* 

That’s not what the State Health Plan was doing.  It wasn’t paying anybody’s sex-change bills.  But it sounds like that is going to change.

The decision opens the door for millions of dollars in elective procedure costs to now be paid by the state health plan. THAT, my friends, will cost more money — which will come from health plan customers and the rest of us in the taxpaying community.

The office of state treasurer Dale Folwell, the plan’s administrator, had more than a few thoughts on the ruling:

[…] “It is our mission to protect the Plan for our more than 750,000 current members, as well as future members. […] Key to achieving this mission is protecting the Plan’s fiscal sustainability. Simply, the Plan must continue to exist for our current and future members. However, due to unabated and rapidly increasing health care costs, funding that has not increased at the same rate, and the aging and declining health of the Plan member pool (due in part to the inability to attract younger dependents and families into the SHP because of high family premiums), the Plan is facing the real risk of insolvency. Accordingly, the Plan cannot be everything for everyone. Our priority is to provide coverage that does the most good for the highest number of people with the finite resources we have available.

“Protecting the Plan for our current and future members has always been what this case has been about. So, clearly, we disagree with the Fourth Circuit’s majority opinion. Untethered to the reality of the Plan’s fiscal situation, the majority opinion opens the way for any dissatisfied individual to override the Plan’s reasoned and responsible decisions and drive the Plan towards collapse.

“As I have said consistently, I respect the rule of law and, therefore, will continue to follow every legal avenue available to protect the Plan and its members.”[…]