Saturday News: Folwell flinches

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STANDOFF OVER NEW STATE EMPLOYEE HEALTH PLAN IS OVER, FOR NOW: The State Treasurer announced a new move Thursday to ensure that the health insurance plan covering more than 720,000 teachers and other state employees will include major N.C. hospital systems as in-network facilities. Two big providers for the Charlotte area, Atrium Health and Novant Health, said the new deal means they will remain in-network for state employees next year. Duke Health also said it will be in-network. The new plan will let those health care systems and other providers that didn’t sign on to State Treasurer Dale Folwell’s proposal of state-set prices for medical service to keep their existing agreements with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Blue Cross Blue Shield administers the state insurance plan.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article233673197.html

Prepare for the worst

Dan Forest with his tRump Bonespurs asking, where's my golden shower?

Next Saturday, August 17, Photo Opportunist Dan Forest will officially launch his campaign for governor. We say "officially" because running for governor is pretty much all Dan Forest has done since he was elected to the least relevant job in state government. Week in and week out, Forest slimes around the state, getting his picture taken by lily white interns standing next to people who seldom realize they're being mugged.

Association Health Plans are still a bad idea

You're probably better off with no insurance at all:

These types of plans were nixed under the Affordable Care Act, which required all insurance policies to contain 10 essential benefits and disallowed so-called “skinny” plans that provide little beyond basic catastrophic coverage, if that.

Association health plans were green-lighted again under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in October 2017, which was seen by many as a way of undermining former President Barack Obama’s ACA. But the plans also come with a host of caveats. They make some observers nervous because in the past association health plans have produced substandard policies that left some patients with big bills or skyrocketing premiums.

All insurance "pools" are a rarefied version of a Ponzi scheme, but these association health plans are even more so. There's simply not enough money in the pot to pay off all the losers if there's even a slight bump in the percentage of catastrophic health treatments, and the fact these "skinny" plans don't cover well care visits or other prophylactic measures actually increases that likelihood. Instead of fast-tracking boondoggles like this, which will likely only be tempting to those who make over the ACA subsidy threshold, the NCGA should be expanding Medicaid to cover those in the gap. And before approving AHPs, they need to wait and see how the courts and Federal government decide this issue:

Friday News: Tainted money magnet

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DAN FOREST FORCED TO RETURN $15,000 IN CAMPAIGN DONATIONS: N.C. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, a Republican who plans to run for governor in 2020 against Democrat Roy Cooper, has been forced to forfeit thousands of dollars due to campaign finance violations. An audit of Forest’s campaign by the North Carolina State Board of Elections found numerous violations. In all, Forest resolved the audit by giving up more than $15,000. Most of the money the Forest campaign had to forfeit came from conservative groups that operate in federal politics but weren’t properly registered to get involved in state politics. That included $5,000 from a group whose name appears to have been listed as a misspelling of the EnergySolutions Inc. Fund For Effective Government, which supports electric utility companies, $2,500 from the Susan B. Anthony List, which opposes abortion, and $500 from a group called Citizens for Constitutional Liberties.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article233652187.html

Rip van Holding gets three Dem challengers (so far)

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You need to start rolling that trash can out to the road to get in shape:

Republican Rep. George Holding, the North Carolina congressional incumbent who by one measure had the closest 2018 race, has drawn several Democratic challengers for his 2020 re-election bid.

Wake County Public Schools board member Monika Johnson-Hostler announced her candidacy Wednesday. Retired Marine Scott Cooper, the founder of Veterans for American Ideals, announced in April he would run. Open Table United Methodist Church pastor Jason Butler filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission last month.

Holding is the epitome of an empty-suit bankster barely warming his seat in Congress. He's been there for 6+ years, and has sponsored "two" bills that became law; one to keep sub-Saharan African countries from underbidding American companies, and one to authorize the Supreme Court Police to protect Justices at their homes. Both were within his first term, and apparently he was exhausted from the effort. Not going to endorse anybody in this race, but I have been seeing a lot of this guy on social media for months:

Thursday News: It's what they do

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CLUB FOR GROWTH RUNS FALSE AD AGAINST MCCREADY OVER REPS: The Club for Growth ad says McCready backed regulations that would cost consumers $149 million a year in their electric bills. While it is true that the clean-energy group pushed to keep a renewable portfolio standard in North Carolina, the standard had already been established for close to a decade at the time McCready joined the group’s board. It is misleading to say that NCSEA lobbied for “costly state regulations” when RPS had already been in the law for years before the House put forward legislation that would have watered it down. The ad gives an exact figure for the costs of the standard, but experts told us that estimates on the effects of RPS vary widely, ranging from savings to costs. What’s more, the ad fails to mention that renewable energy decreases toxic and costly carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore, we rate this statement Mostly False.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article233572392.html

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