It’s probably a very good bet that changes in health care are coming at the national level.

On the state level, there’s a lot of attention being paid to potential changes in health care as well. On Friday, Jan. 8, NC Gov. Roy Cooper met with members of the North Carolina Council on Health Care Coverage to explore options and agree upon some “guiding principles” meant to expand access to health care coverage for North Carolinians.

According to the state’s statistics for 2019, about 17 percent of adults in North Carolina were uninsured that year. That was the sixth highest rate in the country.

The council, which is meeting for the third time, is convened by the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. The council is made up of bipartisan members of the NC General Assembly, as well as representatives from a variety of sectors including business, nonprofit and health care.

The governor said in a January 8 press release that right now it’s more important than ever to address this problem.

“The pandemic continues to remind us of the urgency of the Council’s work as we look at opportunities to expand access to health care coverage across the state,” Cooper stated.

At the Jan. 8 meeting councilmembers heard from experts on health care financing options with a focus on how to get more people in the state covered by effective health care.

In the two previous meetings, the council examined things like Medicaid expansion, access to behavioral health services and options for private insurance market reform.

The group also heard from business leaders who discussed the challenges that a lack of affordable health care has created for their employees and their businesses.

Plans are for the group to hold its last meeting on Friday, Jan. 22 when it expects to finalize guiding principles for expanding access to health coverage .