The Triangle Business Journal reports we are in the midst of a grocery store war in the Triangle. And competition means more choices for consumers.

Wal-Mart, Harris Teeter, Kroger, Food Lion and Lowes Foods are all evaluating their options for expanding market share in the Triangle, which has 7,901 residents for each supermarket location.

Kroger, Food Lion and Lowes Foods have been cutting prices and advertising higher-quality products in hopes of boosting sales volumes in an already low-margin business.

Harris Teeter and Wal-Mart have been taking a different approach: adding more store locations to attract a broader audience.

The same dynamic of competition holds true across  industries and across the spectrum of life’s wants and needs — including health insurance and medical care. And that’s why North Carolina’s plan to reform Medicaid is so important. JLF’s  health and human services policy analyst Katherine Restrepo discusses the state’s Medicaid reform plan and compares it to plans implement in other states.

The Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina calls for the state to contract with up to four CCEs, Restrepo said. “Four are needed to ensure robust competition, but with 1.5 million Medicaid patients, North Carolina’s program has the economy of scale to attract significant interest from even more plans. Expanding the number of CCEs would give the state more leverage.”

Strategies that have worked already in Florida, Kansas, and Louisiana are likely to work in North Carolina, Restrepo said. “Not only has North Carolina learned what succeeds for patients and taxpayers in other states, it has also learned what simply doesn’t work,” she said. “Looking closely at the pitfalls that followed Kentucky’s attempts at Medicaid reform, Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration has taken common-sense steps to avoid failure.”

Competition is key.