NCGA

The myths and motives behind Medicaid reform push

The non-existent "able-bodied" seeker of government handouts:

Almost 65 percent of the individuals on Medicaid are poor children who would otherwise have no health insurance. Another 2 percent are women who qualify only because they are pregnant. Roughly 15 percent of the recipients are blind or disabled, and approximately 7 percent are the elderly. The small proportion of recipients remaining represents the working poor.

So why then are some beating the drum for more drastic measures of reform? Why do some want to turn our health care over to out-of-state, profit-driven insurance companies?

You've answered your own question there. Whether it's a direct conflict of interest in the form of campaign contributions, or an ideological predisposition, conservative lawmakers almost always lean in the direction of the privatization of public services. And it doesn't matter how many times these efforts fail, or how many taxpayer dollars are pissed away in the process, the idea always seems new, bold, and innovative to them. Not unlike a small child rediscovering a cherished toy buried in his closet. But Medicaid is not a toy, it's a critical life-saving program, and shouldn't be "shaken up" for ego's sake.

Feeding the hungry still a low priority for McCrory administration

"Let them eat some sort of cake-like substance," said Queen Aldona:

The state was one of the worst in the nation in timely application approvals in 2013, according to Thursday’s letter, and had not reached an acceptable level in 2014. The agency asked DHHS for a response within 30 days on how it will improve.

“The state’s chronically poor performance in timeliness is in direct conflict with application processing statutory and regulatory provisions meant to protect a low-income household’s right to receive nutrition assistance benefits in a timely manner,” said the letter from USDA regional administrator Robin D. Bailey Jr.

It makes you wonder just what Wos would have to do to be considered incompetent in the eyes of McCrory. Accidentally burning down a building might do it, but after listening to twenty minutes of her painfully off-topic explanation he would probably just say, "Try not to do it again."

Opposition to ag-gag bill growing daily

Animal cruelty is only part of the issue:

Animal welfare and labor advocates began pressuring Gov. Pat McCrory this week to veto the bill. The Humane Society of the U.S. launched a week-long TV ad campaign.

The farm group’s letter says in part: “By permitting severe repercussions against those who report on illegal activity on farms, HB 405 grants a free pass to those recklessly cutting corners, and as such, directly threatens our economic viability as responsible farmers and food producers.”

Coal Ash Wednesday: Starve the coal, feed the frackers

Duke Energy to replace coal plant with natural gas plant:

Duke Energy spokesman Dave Scanzoni says with projected population growth in North Carolina, the energy supplier was looking for a way to meet practical needs and local demand for cleaner energy.

"We thought this was a great opportunity to move forward with a much larger power plant that's much cleaner, twice the size in terms of electricity output," says Scanzoni. "But significantly cleaner and better for the environment than the coal that it replaces."

Tuesday Twitter roundup

We'll start with a breakthrough in citizen oversight of law enforcement:

Yes, this is a good thing. Bad behavior cannot survive under public scrutiny.

Survived a civil war, denied the right to vote

A heart-wrenching story of callous injustice:

According to Jerome and Diana, their voting experience went downhill from there. A poll worker told them to wait while precinct officials "called downtown" to address Diana's citizenship status. They waited more than two hours, to no avail. In the meantime, Jerome — unfamiliar with the voting process — asked the same poll worker for help understanding his ballot; according to Jerome, she became impatient and dismissive, saying, "We can't help you."

While cautious about saying so, Jerome wondered if his family's race and immigrant background were factors in how they were treated by the poll worker, a white woman. "It was a very bad experience," Jerome remembered. "It made me think she didn't like us, because of who we are."

Hat-tip to Facing South for exposing this predictable result of the rabid anti-immigrant movement in our state (and country). Both the state and local election boards owe these two brave US citizens an apology, and a few hugs wouldn't be out of order.

What the gun-nut lobby won't tell you

The deadly mistake of abolishing the permitting process:

If you want to know what happens when a state repeals a law requiring background checks for all handguns sales, you can look to the state of Missouri. For decades, Missouri required background checks for all handgun purchasers through a handgun purchase permit law. But lawmakers repealed the law in 2007 using the same logic and rhetoric repeated today in North Carolina.

Research that I led found that the repeal of background checks and permitting of handgun purchasers in Missouri were associated with an immediate spike in guns diverted to criminals and a 25 percent increase in firearm-involved homicides.

In the mind of a 2nd Amendment zealot however, those consequences mean absolutely nothing. Which is one of the biggest reasons why they shouldn't have a place at the public policy table. They can still vote like the rest of us, but wield influence over lawmakers? Oh, hell no. Their lack of concern for the overall safety of citizens disqualifies them as a "stakeholder" in the process.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - NCGA