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North Carolina Health care system to shut down

Vidant officials said the move (to close the hospital in Belhaven, North Carolina) was necessary as a consequence of North Carolina’s refusal to participate in Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion. This is a not for profit safety net hospital. Safety-net hospitals serve regions with high numbers of poor and uninsured people often have patients who can’t afford to pay for their care. They usually have to rely on the government to pick up some of the tab for uncompensated medical treatment to stay financially viable.

We're all painfully aware that McCrony, the legislature along with many of our Congressional critters (like NC-11 Meadows - mine) refuse to serve all their constituents. Which of our poor counties will be next?

See full story at http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/09/06/2583771/north-carolina-hospital-shut-obamacare-medicaid/

Judge Manning hearing arguments on Asheville Water

I cannot find any local Raleigh/Durham media covering this. Anyone hear anything yet? Scrutiny Hooligans, where are you?

from Sept. 3rd Asheville Citizen Times:

ASHEVILLE — A judge in Raleigh will hear arguments Friday over whether he should block the transfer of the city water system while a lawsuit over the transfer is decided.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr. also will hear a motion by the state to dismiss Asheville’s lawsuit challenging a law the General Assembly passed in May mandating the transfer to the Metropolitan Sewerage District.

No one knows which way Manning will rule, but neither the city nor MSD is taking steps that would suggest they think a transfer is imminent.

Questions abound on Kieran Shanahan's hasty departure from DPS

Applying for a security clearance can be a stressful thing:

Kieran Shanahan’s unexpected resignation as head of the state’s public safety agency in July came as he appeared to be making long-term plans to remain in the job. There are no clues among the messages that he would resign. Rather, they show Shanahan focused on obtaining clearance from Homeland Security.

On the afternoon of July 22, Shanahan’s assistant sent him a text that said she was working on getting the fingerprinting done. About half an hour later, she told him it would be done at the City-County Bureau of Identification in Raleigh, apparently on that date. Three days later Shanahan resigned, along with Chief Operating Officer Edward “Sonny” Masso. There was no indication that their departures were related.

It would be interesting to find out what happened with this security clearance. But you'd probably have to have a security clearance to find out...

Patronage and pay-to-play ruling NC DHHS

There's a New Breed of government employee taking charge:

An adviser to state Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos has been paid more than $228,000 by the state for eight months of work. Hauck came to DHHS from New Breed Logistics, where Wos’ husband is CEO. Hauck is vice president of marketing and communications, and is on leave from the company. Wos was a campaign fundraiser for Gov. Pat McCrory, and New Breed employees were prime contributors. Hauck gave $6,500 to McCrory’s campaign in 2011 and 2012.

New Breed is no stranger to the pages of BlueNC, as they've made funneling money into political campaigns a near art-form. And once again we get to witness one political patron defending another:

My Email this Morning to My Legislators

Here is the email I sent this morning to Rep. Joe Sam Queen (D-Haywood) and Sen. Jim Davis (R-Macon).

Gentlemen: Care to comment on yesterday's report in the Raleigh News & Observer that one Joe Hauck was paid $228,000 over 8 months as a consultant to DHHS Secretary Alana Wos?

DHHS Spokesman Ricky Diaz defended the consulting contract in a statement. This is the same Ricky Diaz who, at 24 years of age and with absolutely zero public health policy experience, enjoys a taxpayer-funded salary of $85,000, including a $23,000 raise after a few months on the job.

Yes, policies really do have impacts

DAG McCrony and the Tillisberger were hellbent on refusing the federal money for Medicaid expansion. These are our tax dollars, already paid, that now go to places with more enlightened governors, which even includes Ohio and New Jersey.

DAG McCrony and Tillisberger were warned repeatedly that this stupidity would have real repercussions in North Carolina -- not only for the 500,000 people who would be denied healthcare benefits (DAG McCrony and Tillisberger have demonstrated repeatedly that they don't care about them), but also for hospitals, many of which are corporations, and all of which provide jobs.

Top 10 Unproven Claims for War Against Syria

Dennis Kucininch from Huffington Post

In the lead-up to the Iraq War, I researched, wrote and circulated a document to members of Congress which explored unanswered questions and refuted President Bush's claim for a cause for war. The document detailed how there was no proof Iraq was connected to 9/11 or tied to al Qaeda's role in 9/11, that Iraq neither had WMDs nor was it a threat to the U.S., lacking intention and capability to attack. Unfortunately, not enough members of Congress performed due diligence before they approved the war.

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