Theater of the absurd

Last week our new deputy assistant governor Pat McCrory called a press conference to tout the findings of an audit of the states medicaid program and low and behold we have a 1.4 billion dollar shortfall.

"This is evidence that the system is broken and over spending is the reason." I'm not sure, but I swear Governor Pope was standing behind Pat with his arm buried shoulder deep up Mcrory's ass moving his lips.

New Sec. of HHS Aldona Wos declared,"Cost overuns will not be tolerated and will not be accepted."
Phil Booger proclaimed the state cannot handle a bigger program. By that he meant, "This is just a set up to avoid setting up a state controlled exchange."

What they didn't say was their own budget was responsible. Republican Lanier Cansler former Sec of HHS did, in 2011. Cansler stated on WRAL,"It's really going to be impossible to achieve this budget, and I'm not sure where the legislature will go with that."

Booger and Tillis created this bit of political theater and the only people to call them on it are the guys at NC Policy Watch, who by the way, have a Bullshit meter that is off the charts. Adam Searing beat them over the head with it in one of his recent articles.

My question is, why aren't the traditional news outlets like the News and Observer, News and Record, Charlotte Observer, etc., screaming blue bloody murder about this obfuscation of the truth? By not calling out McCrory and Booger they have abandoned their journalistic responsibility to not just report the news, but to educate and inform. Oh, and call bullshit, bullshit.


Educate and inform?

I'd say those two missions have clearly fallen off the table except in rare circumstances. Reporting what the puppets say is about the best we can hope for. Anything beyond that (insight, fact-checking, etc.) will be almost impossible to come by.

Part of the problem is what I call the Rob Christensen complex. Reporters need access to sources and can ill afford to cross any of the power players. Calling bullshit is just something they're not going to do.

I have a different view

What Policy Watch says in terms of an inadequate budget for Medicaid is true, but it is not the whole picture of the DHHS audit. The emphasis was on the higher % of costs for administrative overhead and salaries in relation to the overall budget. That is different from discussing the need for more funds for Medicaid and for mental health.

Policy Watch response appears to be a knee jerk reaction rather than a thoughtful and unbiased assessment of the audit and the situation at DMA. Yes the GOP leaders are hypocritical, but there is also substance to be had in the Democratic State Auditor's report.

Martha Brock

Medicaid administrative costs.

The administrative costs of the NC Medicaid program are roughly 6%, with a private insurer it runs 30-40%. Part of the problem is how the program is budgeted.

David Esmay

The audit of Medicaid spending says

NC Medicaid office has higher administrative costs than comparable programs run in other states. It is irrelevant what private insurance admininistrative overhead is, unless you are promoting Medicare for all (which I do, btw).

Martha Brock

Medicaid administrative costs.

Compared to the other programs in the audit, 4.5% to 6.0%. That's their vaunted 38% figure. I support a universal medicare program for all. The national average ranges from 6-10%. Still pretty damn good and a fine program.

David Esmay