The privatization of NC Medicaid begins

And Ralph Hise is leading the charge:

Sen. Ralph Hise detailed plans that would move Medicaid away from the state Department of Health and Human Services and to a newly created Health Benefits Authority. The HBA, according to Hise, would contract with three healthcare providers to administer the $14 Billion program.

The new authority would not be subject to the state personnel act, allowing the new entity to set higher salaries for its employees.

Because why would you want government oversight and control of the spending of taxpayer dollars when you can transfer that control to the very people that are being reimbursed? I'm sure there's some alternate universe where this makes sense, but it ain't this one.

To BergerMoore, determining the rights of individuals is a game to play

Duck, duck, goose:

The House met five times with an override on the calendar – but did not take it up. On June 4, five lawmakers were absent, but Moore didn’t call for a vote. On June 9, a different five were away. Again, no vote. And so on. On Thursday, in a span of less than 10 minutes, Moore brought up the override; watched as Republicans cut off debate with a procedural move; and then locked the vote in.

Moore said the override “reaffirms the support ... to protect the conscience of magistrates in performing these duties while at the same time ensuring that marriage services are available.”

The only thing it "reaffirms" is the growing hesitation and doubt lawmakers have over the morality of allowing government officials to pick and choose which citizens to help based on religion. It also "reaffirms" the GOP needs to be watched like a hawk to keep them from relegating other citizens to "second class" status.

Bully boy Brock pushes partisan education boards

Stacking the deck in Davie County:

Brock has not responded to inquiries seeking comment. He told the Statesville Record & Landmark two weeks ago that he included Davie County — at the request of the Davie County Republican Party — in a bill that makes school board elections partisan in three other counties. Davie County was included on the third and final reading of the bill, unbeknown to five of the seven school board members and Superintendent Darrin Hartness.

In Davie County, the leadership of the Republican Party is primarily made up of individuals — including Ridenhour and Drechsler — who opposed the recent $54.5 million bond referendum to build a new high school.

Get that? The Republican Party leaders aren't pissed off Democrats are spending too much, they're pissed off the voters (in an R+47 County) were *allowed* to vote on a new high school. A vote that passed 54% to 46%, by the way. Why put up with the hassle of Democracy when you can just rule like a tyrant?

NC GOP takes another swipe at small businesses

Wherever there's a service rendered, there's money to be squeezed out:

The plan, backed by Senate leader Phil Berger, would tax a variety of services that are currently exempt from charging sales tax: veterinarian visits; pet grooming; and repair, maintenance and installation on personal property such as cars. The taxing would begin Oct. 1 and would generate an estimated $202.9 million for the state in fiscal year 2016-2017.

It’s part of a massive Senate economic development and tax proposal that also includes personal and corporate income tax cuts – the next step in a Republican-led effort to shift more of the tax burden from income to sales taxes.

It appears the Bergermeister has been drinking the free-market Kool-Aid too long, and has forgotten the basics of a consumer-based economy. Here's a definition of Commerce: "Exchange of goods or services for money or in kind, usually on a scale large enough to require transportation from place to place or across city, state, or national boundaries." In order to generate said Commerce, a multitude of individual commercial transactions must take place. You can't have the macro without the micro. Every time you exert pressure on that point of sale for goods and/or services, you will change behavior patterns to a certain degree, and the result could be (and sometimes is) devastating.

Trudy Wade doubles down on attack to democracy

There's more than one way to gerrymander a city:

The N.C. Senate voted 31-16 Thursday morning to approve House Bill 263, which originally would only make changes to the Trinity City Council. However, state Sen. Trudy Wade (R-Guilford) modified the Trinity bill, adding the changes to the Greensboro council that were originally proposed in Senate Bill 36, which has been languishing in a House committee.

There should be a rule dealing with this, a tactic we've seen more than once from overly-aggressive Republican lawmakers. They put a bill forward, and when it starts to struggle from lack of support, they just add the same language to another bill. In other words, if you can't get what you want, it's time to start cheating. When the House gets HB263 back, they should vote it down with extreme prejudice. Send a message now, or risk losing whatever limited powers you still have.

SB-2 Veto overridden, government discrimination now "okay"

The Tarheel Taliban strikes again:

With no warning and no debate allowed, the House voted Thursday morning to override the governor's veto of Senate Bill 2, allowing magistrates and county register of deeds employees to opt out of performing marriages for religious reasons. After Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, R-Wake, made the motion to override the governor's veto, calling it a "logical fallacy," Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, used a parliamentary maneuver known as "calling the question" to cut off debate.

No, Skip, you are the epitome of the (moralistic) fallacy: You have been a Legislator for many years, and have ordained yourself as the arbiter of what's right and wrong, attacking your fellow citizens whenever you saw an opportunity to enhance your status as a top jackass. You should have had that seat pulled out from under you a long time ago, but a sickness amongst your constituents has kept you politically alive.

This is what NC needs to do about Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Pass a law to stop them from lying to young women:

The (California) bill, known as the Reproductive Fact Act, would require pregnancy centers to post notices saying that reproductive health services, including abortion, are available to pregnant women in the state. Pregnancy centers also would have to disclose whether they lack a medical license. The bill passed on a party-line vote, with Republicans objecting on the grounds that it would unconstitutionally compel government speech for the state's 167 centers.

Abortion rights advocates have argued that crisis pregnancy centers systemically provide inaccurate or misleading information, such as suggesting that abortions cause breast cancer or depression. The advocates point out that advertisements for some crisis centers suggests they provide a full range of reproductive health services.

And before you say it, I know. Republicans in NC have already done the exact opposite, and have actually funneled taxpayer dollars to these bible-thumping charlatans. But one good way to put this issue on the radar of voters is to sponsor legislation that would expose such shenanigans, even if it does get buried in a committee somewhere. You can't just say, "Republicans are bad!" You have to demonstrate the proper way for government to operate.


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