Competing Medicaid op-eds: Specifics best platitudes

Over the weekend, the Wilmington StarNews published a pair of competing op-eds on the subject of Gov. McCrory’s Medicaid privatization plan — one by Adam Linker of the N.C. Health Access Coalition and another by HHS Secretary Aldona Vos.  

Unfortunately, the two pieces serve as a kind of microcosm of the first few months of the McCrory administration’s public performance.

In a detailed and fact-based critique, Linker shows that  the privatization plan is half-baked and based on failed models elsewhere. He explains why siphoning off public money to private companies is a silly and wasteful idea and shows how it has already led to disastrous consequences in other states. In short, as in so many other areas in which the Governor has staked out a public position thus far this year, the op-ed demonstrates that the administration is embracing failed ideas.

Meanwhile, Wos’ response is consistent with previous administration responses to similar critiques in other areas: It doesn’t say much other than to regurgitate ideologically-based platitudes and promise to provide more details later — all of which might be okay if McCrory and Wos hadn’t already committed the state a radical overhaul that they clearly don’t understand in anything other than the most general way.

Sadly, however, as in those other areas — be it unemployment insurance, rejecting the Affordable Care Act or any number of others — the McCrory administration appears to be committed to a strategy of avoiding specifics and hoping the public won’t catch on.

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