medicaid

Note to North Carolina candidates: How to talk about Medicaid

Having heard a number of candidates flub questions about Medicaid, I'm hoping these points will be helpful in future discussions.

  • Don't just say "Medicaid expansion" and assume people know what you're talking about. If voters don’t get Medicaid (and most don't), they wonder why it will help them to expand it. What we're talking about here is Health Care Insurance for the Working Poor.
  • Explain that the money from this program does not go to people, it goes directly to support health care providers in North Carolina – doctors, nurses, pharmacists, our hospitals, ambulance drivers, and our universities. Lead with this.
  • We are turning down $4 billion per year, every year that we are not in this program. That is $4 billion that would be used to hire more doctors and nurses and provide real jobs in hospitals or people working in drug stores. It would help businesses that make medical supplies.
  • The Tillis/McCrory position is a JOB KILLER. The federal government is ready to load up trucks with $4 billion in cash every year and spend it on jobs right here in our state. Thom Tillis is saying "no." Why?
  • That economic activity would generate TAX REVENUE for NORTH CAROLINA to pay our teachers, build roads, and support our police and firefighters. We will generate 3 to 4 times more in tax revenue through this program than what we have to lay out to implement it.
  • The Tillis claim that taking the money would bankrupt the state does not pass 1st grade math. The $4 billion we would get into the state could generate as much as at least $1 - $2 billion in STATE INCOME AND SALES TAX REVENUE. These benefits FAR OUTWEIGH the cost of the program to North Carolina, which is only $300 million per year.
  • This is the real kicker: NORTH CAROLINIANS ARE WRITING TAX CHECKS FOR $1 BILLION PER YEAR TO BUY HEATH INSURANCE FOR WORKING PEOPLE IN OTHER STATES! That's right. We are buying a billion per year of health insurance for people in California. Why is Thom Tillis doing this?
  • Other conservative states have figured out the economic benefit and have accepted the reality of the new health care economy. Why have conservative states like Arizona, Arkansas, North Dakota, West Virginia and Kentucky (all of which voted for Mitt Romney by wide margins) accepted the money, but not North Carolina?
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A billion here, a billion there.

How much money is Thom Tillis prepared to spend to make his divide-and-conquer strategy work in North Carolina?

North Carolina taxpayers could spend more than $10 billion by 2022 to provide medical care for low-income residents of other states while getting nothing in return, a McClatchy Newspapers analysis shows.

Policy Watch has the story.

Pat McCrory to 23,000 US veterans: Drop dead

Tillis shines shoes in Washington, DC; or does he?

I once heard a guy tell me that if Naw'th Carolina didn't get "this" Medicaid problem under control, Thom Tillis would be toast. He said he was a Republican; we were sitting at a bar in Raleigh, and I bought him a beer.

I keep wondering about all of those trips Thom Tillis has been taking to Washington, DC. You know, the ones he claims and has been reported as fund raising raiding. Even minor league Republicans (those that descend from the trees at dusk) and are from rural North Carolina, despise him. He surely doesn't give a damn about them; never did, never will.

In doubling a no-bid contract to $6.8 million, the state Department of Health and Human Services has turned over the financial management of North Carolina’s $13 billion Medicaid program to a Washington-area consulting firm.

Washington Post headline says it all

North Carolina Republicans put ideology above lives

Letting people die to prove a point.

A week after Portia Gibbs’s death, Belhaven Mayor Adam O’Neal began a 15-day, 273-mile walk to Washington to draw attention to the outrage in Belhaven, which he blames on the combination of an “immoral” hospital operator and the failure of Republican leaders in his state to accept the new Medicaid funding the hospital needed to stay afloat.

The ridiculously simple solution to NC's Medicaid problem

Fire Wos.

It's abundantly clear that Queen Aldona is the problem.

Both Hise and Dollar also said that the Department of Health and Human Resources sorely needs experienced Medicaid officials to manage a complicated program that provides care to 1.7 million North Carolinians: the blind, disabled, elderly and poor children and their parents.

To which North Carolinians respond "DUH!"

Yet the thoroughly incompetent Aldona does just the opposite, surrounding herself with people who have no such experience. To top it off, she pays them ridiculously inflated fees using our taxpayer dollars [emphasis mine]

What do you think about this?

The Medicaid meltdown continues

The N&O has some excellent reporting this weekend on Mr. McCrory's Magnificent Medicaid Meltdown, which is underway right now in North Carolina. If you've been wanting to understand what's going on with Medicaid, and why, this article should be your first stop.

As you read the story, two things will jump to mind. First, for all the mythology about Art Pope's financial acumen, he just another schmuck plugging made-up numbers into the state budget, all designed to create the illusion that McCrory knows what he's doing. And second, you'll learn that there are real and terrible costs associated with the so-called leadership of our Republican-led government. Under the crushing weight of Queen Aldona Wos, anybody who knows anything about Medicaid has abandoned ship, leaving DHHS hollowed out and completely dysfunctional.

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Queen Puppet and her "brilliance"

... are truly too much to behold.

By now we all know that North Carolina is another $60,000,000.00 in the hole because of Wos and the "DHHS Plan." As outlined in an editorial from the Charlotte Observer, the math seems simple; or does it?

Simply put, according to the editorial, here’s how the plan would work:

North Carolina would tax 10 managed-care organizations that provide behavioral health services to mentally ill or developmentally disabled Medicaid recipients. Those “assessments” would bring in $90 million for the state and allow it to draw down an additional $60 million in matching federal funds. The state would then give the $90 million back to the managed-care organizations and pocket the $60 million from the feds. Budget woes, solved.

NC last in minority health; AMA calls for Medicaid expansion

The independent non-partisan Commonwealth Fund is out with a new report on health-care and North Carolina is ranked last in the country in minority health care.

NC ranked 36 out of 51 states overall, but ranked last with minority health among all states in the nation. We also have some of the most expensive employer health insurance in the country, with premiums 13 percent higher than the national average.

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