Medicaid expansion

Governor Cooper set to expand Medicaid in NC

And it may be just that simple:

Cooper’s action seems certain to spur howls of protest from Republican lawmakers and conservative advocacy groups that have long derided Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act (aka”Obamacare”) as “socialized medicine.” Four years ago, at the outset of the administration of Cooper’s predecessor, Pat McCrory, North Carolina legislators enacted a law that purports to prevent the Governor from acting unilaterally to expand Medicaid. Cooper, however, believes that he has authority to act in his role as the state official empowered to craft and negotiate the “Medicaid waiver” plan that North Carolina is currently negotiating with federal officials. It is known that McCrory engaged in conversations with the Obama administration on such a possible move.

Wow. If you had asked me about Medicaid expansion a couple days (or hours) ago, I would have said something along the lines of, "It won't happen until we take back the Legislature." Shows what I know. I am liking Roy Cooper more and more every day.

NC GOP caught in (another) lie

And the newspaper caught in the crosshairs is having none of it:

You may have recently received several pieces in the mail paid for by the state Republican Party that criticize Democrat Brownie Futrell, who is challenging Republican Bill Cook in the District 1 Senate race. Those pieces include the statement: “But State Senate Candidate Brownie Futrell supports Hillary Clinton’s plan to give single, able-bodied young men who won’t work ‘free’ healthcare funded by taxpayers.” Next to those words is a footnote that cites “The Outer Banks Sentinel 12/16/2015” as the source for that assertion.

Sunday Sermon

Expansion of Medicaid is one way we, as individuals and as a body politic, respect the sanctity of human life by making sure all God's children get the medical care they need. Appropriate medical care makes an individual stronger and in doing so, makes America stronger as a whole. Stronger, healthier people learn more, work harder, are better able to take care of their own children and lead more productive lives.

McCrory wants Medicaid expansion to require job search

Which (of course) is in violation of Federal regulations:

“[Federal officials] have been giving a lot of flexibility around a lot of aspects of Medicaid expansion waivers, but requiring job search is not allowed,” Silberman said. “The position is that Medicaid is a health insurance program, not a work program.”

Even so, the stipulation may be largely beside the point, according to recent numbers crunched by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. The report found that almost two-thirds of the people who fall into the gap work already.

Once again, the facts run counter to the GOP's rhetoric and preconceived notions of how people become and stay poor. In the mind of somebody like McCrory, who hasn't done an honest day's work since he climbed down from the utility pole, a little bit of effort and voilà! You're safely ensconced in the middle class where people get all the shots they need to keep them healthy. He probably views forcing someone to search for a job as preventative medicine, approved by 4 out of 5 doctors.

Saving rural NC as simple as one, two, three

Great article in this week's Indy by Jeffery Billman, called What's Driving the NC Senate's Animus Towards the State's Metros? BIllman explores possible reasons our state Senate Republicans dislikes our state's cities. I don't know about you, but I have never heard an urban politician campaign on hurting our urban environments, but to hear what is happening in NCGA, one would think there was a cabal of cities out to destroy the countryside. However, the greatest harm to our rural brethren has come from the Senate Republicans themselves. (I've put a link at the bottom of this piece. Read his article for more.)

The price of healthcare in North Carolina

When it comes to North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), few words have been written that are more damning than these...

The need to catch up with nearly two years worth of Medicaid expenses runs counter to the state Health and Human Services department’s narrative that it has cleaned up longstanding problems in Medicaid.

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