As Republicans in Congress attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act and Mission Health threatens to cancel its contract with the largest health insurance provider in Western North Carolina, thousands of people are wondering whether they will be covered and what the cost might be.

If Mission Health doesn’t strike a deal with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina by October, the health system may be pushing more Western North Carolina employers to sign up for its own health care plan — Healthy State — to keep their employees inside the Mission network.

Residents in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District will soon have a few opportunities to reach out to their congressman and his staff on the health care issue.

Haywood Regional Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint Health hospital, has completed a 17-bed expansion to its behavioral health wing on the sixth floor.

Half a year into his presidency, it seems pretty clear that Donald Trump would rather continue campaigning — or golfing, or both — than actually governing the country. Who can blame him? It is so much easier and more gratifying to stir up the troops with snide remarks about Hillary Clinton or the free press and to make exciting promises about reforming health care and lowering taxes than it is to confront a fundamental truth: the Republican party has had years to consider, craft, and deliver a health care plan that would supplant the much maligned Affordable Care Act, and the best they could do was offer a plan that guts Medicaid to the tune of $830 billion to fund a huge tax cut for the wealthy, while leaving millions Americans without any health care at all. Brilliant.

A robust and vigorous health care sector is the cornerstone of any community; convenient access to health care facilities is a make-or-break issue for many, including the elderly, the disabled or even young families expecting children.

Mission Health System is threatening to cancel its contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina if they can’t get rate negotiations that are more favorable.

By Rod Harkelroad and Maurice Phillips

Our country’s healthcare system is in the midst of a massive upheaval. Never before have we witnessed such challenges that will impact both the type of care our community receives and the ability of our local hospital to continue providing the high-quality care that we know each of you have come to expect from our physicians, nurses and staff. 

The day after the Senate’s own version of a new health care bill came out, influential leader of the House Freedom Caucus and Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows, R-Asheville, wasted no time in shooting it down.

Mission Health leaders finally agreed to hold a meeting in Franklin to discuss their controversial decision to close the labor and delivery unit at Angel Medical Center, but the public and the media were not allowed to attend.

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