Tuesday News: Because lives *are* at stake

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SWIFT FEDERAL ACTION VOWED ON COOPER'S MEDICAID EXPANSION PLAN (McClatchy Newspapers) -- The Obama administration pledged Monday to act quickly on North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans want to repeal. Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell suggested Monday that North Carolina could see a quick answer on its request to expand Medicaid. She demurred on the dispute between Cooper and the Republican-controlled state Legislature over Medicaid, but said, “We will process the governor’s proposal as expeditiously as possible when we get it.”
http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/politics-government/article125514424.html

Notes from the Commander-In-Chief

The soon-to-be leader of the free world is on the ball:

Thinking of making this a regular feature, but I'm not sure NC's mental health network is prepared for that...

Monday News: Message for Mark

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NEW ED. CHIEF - PUBLIC SCHOOLS KEY TO COMMUNITY PROSPERITY, DON'T MARGINALIZE THEM (Capitol Broadcasting Co. editorial) -- Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 -- If Mark Johnson, the new state Superintendent of Public Instruction, truly believes in public schools he'll work to: improve teacher and principal pay; bring back the Teaching Fellows Program; require accountability and transparency from charter schools and the voucher program; and demand universal state-funded pre-K education. Mark Johnson has a chance to show he's more than another young ambitious politician looking to the next campaign and higher office. He can show that he is committed to the job he's been elected to by focusing on common sense solutions and avoiding the seductive allure of partisan political pandering.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-new-state-education-chief-public-schools-are-key-to-community-prosperi...

Sunday News: Bill Cook can go suck a lemon

COOK CONCERNED ABOUT DEQ NOMINEE (Elizabeth City Daily Advance) -- State Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, said Friday he so far doesn't have major concerns with Gov. Roy Cooper's cabinet picks – except for his pick to run the Department of Environmental Quality. Cook said Regan is the only Cooper appointment he has concerns with so far, noting the nominee’s advocacy for wind and solar power. Cook has favored legislation reducing a renewable energy mandate and other supports for the industry, siding with some Republicans who say those policies ultimately drive up energy costs.
http://www.dailyadvance.com/News/2017/01/07/Cook-concerned-about-DEQ-nominee.html

Lawyers-R-Us: Charlotte's scamming diploma mill set to reopen Jan 17

Because there's still tons of money to be made:

Charlotte School of Law – battling lawsuits from students, a federal cutoff of student loans and financial problems – told students Friday night that it would reopen for the spring semester. “We are very pleased to announce that after extensive discussions with our regulators, we will be starting classes as scheduled,” the school told students in an email.

CSL told students at mid-week that it was trying to make arrangements with Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville – a sister institution in the three-school InfiLaw chain – for students to complete their studies and receive an ABA-accredited degree.

I believe even struggling students should have a chance to succeed in life, and I'm all for taking (some) alternative routes for professional degrees. But that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about a degree that isn't worth the faux-sheepskin it's printed on, and a crippling student debt that even a real lawyer can't help you figure out. Here's some more background, if you have the stomach for it:

Saturday News: Coop leads the way

COOPER TAKES FIRST STEP TOWARD MEDICAID EXPANSION (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Gov. Roy Cooper made good Friday on his pledge to pursue federal approval for expanding the state’s Medicaid program. Cooper’s first step consisted of submitting a letter and a draft plan to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. His goal is having expansion in place by January 2018. Cooper’s plan amends the Medicaid reform waiver request submitted June 1 by the McCrory administration. That plan focuses on creating a hybrid oversight solution involving for-profit insurers and not-for-profit health-care systems with no expansion.
http://www.journalnow.com/news/elections/local/cooper-takes-first-step-toward-medicaid-expansion/art...

Friday News: 500,000 reasons to ignore them

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GOP ASKS FEDS FOR REJECTION OF COOPER'S PROPOSAL (Fayetteville Observer) -- North Carolina's legislative leaders have asked federal regulators to reject an anticipated proposal by Gov. Roy Cooper to expand Medicaid, citing state laws they say show he lacks the authority to ask on his own. Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore wrote the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Thursday. Cooper announced Wednesday he'd file a request later this week seeking coverage though the federal health care overhaul.
http://www.fayobserver.com/news/north_carolina/gop-asks-feds-for-rejection-of-cooper-s-proposal-inau...

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