Republican attack on the poor

NC GOP set to privatize healthcare for 1.8 million of NC's poorest citizens

Let somebody else worry about them:

Medicaid reform has been a sticking point between the House and the Senate for several years now, with House leaders championing a Medicaid plan that would emphasize patient-centered medical homes and local providers while Senate leaders have pushed for commercial managed care organizations to be part of the mix. Senate leaders have also said they would not recess this year's legislative session without a Medicaid plan in place.

Add this one to the list of wildly successful programs Republicans in the Legislature feel the need to break fix because they are too obstinate to allow verifiable reports to get in the way of their fact-deficient prejudices:

New DHHS Secretary on a mission from God

Or maybe he's just setting up a Supreme Patsy for his inevitable failure:

“By faith I believe it will be demonstrating God’s love in action as we continue to improve the health of our most vulnerable citizens,” he said.

Brajer will start Aug. 17 and will be paid $140,000 a year.

McCrory wants Medicaid expansion to require job search

Which (of course) is in violation of Federal regulations:

“[Federal officials] have been giving a lot of flexibility around a lot of aspects of Medicaid expansion waivers, but requiring job search is not allowed,” Silberman said. “The position is that Medicaid is a health insurance program, not a work program.”

Even so, the stipulation may be largely beside the point, according to recent numbers crunched by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. The report found that almost two-thirds of the people who fall into the gap work already.

Once again, the facts run counter to the GOP's rhetoric and preconceived notions of how people become and stay poor. In the mind of somebody like McCrory, who hasn't done an honest day's work since he climbed down from the utility pole, a little bit of effort and voilà! You're safely ensconced in the middle class where people get all the shots they need to keep them healthy. He probably views forcing someone to search for a job as preventative medicine, approved by 4 out of 5 doctors.

NC's "chronic" failure to feed the hungry

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This is not what we mean when we say "slow food":

In a letter to the state's health agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said North Carolina social services workers failed to approve applications within the required 30-day window, or one week for emergency applications. In 2013, the state processed those applications an average of 75 percent of the time, ranking fifth from the bottom when compared to the rest of the country.

That means North Carolina lags behind neighbors Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina and even territories such as the Virgin Islands and Guam.

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."

Legislative committees scrambling to meet crossover

So many ways to punish people, so little time:

EXECUTIONS: The House Judiciary I Committee takes up a bill at 3 p.m. that would clear the way for executions to go forward without a doctor directly overseeing the lethal injection.

DEBTS: The House Banking Committee meets at 4 p.m. and will take up a bill to make it easier for debt collectors to sue for judgments against people who may or may not owe money.

Only in the minds of Republicans would multiple exonerated death row cases and revelations about systemic misuse of tainted hair and fiber evidence lead to the conclusion we need to "hurry up" and execute these people. And apparently their much-vaunted "tort reform" is only meant for bottom-up cases, not for corporations trying to squeeze the last drop of blood out of struggling families.

GOP poverty solution: Cut programs, then tax charitable non-profits

The convoy of bad ideas keeps rolling down the road:

Senate Bill 700, which was recently introduced in the General Assembly, threatens nonprofit tax exemption in North Carolina. It would reduce the cap on sales tax refunds to $100,000 per year, down from the current $45 million. If passed, this law would create new taxes for hundreds of nonprofits. They would have to pay a tax on almost everything they buy to support their charitable missions, including food, supplies, construction materials, computers, and utilities. This proposal would create unintended harm for nonprofits in all 100 counties of North Carolina.

The next time one of your Republican friends throws out the tired old argument, "The government shouldn't be helping poor people, churches and other charitable organizations do a much better job at it," make sure and mention this. Their zest for improving the lives of the 1% eventually places them in conflict with most of their stated positions, and the sooner voters realize they have no solutions the better.

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