Like a lot of 21st Century North Carolinians, Gov. Pat McCrory is a not a native of the state. He was actually born in Ohio and moved here as a kid. And while it’s hard to imagine him ever discussing this matter much in public, here’s at least one instance in which he might do well to highlight that connection and, indeed, follow the lead of his native state and its conservative Republican governor.
As Talking Points Memo pointed out this morning, the challenges of actually governing appear to be having a positive impact on John Kasich — the one-time fire-breathing conservative congressman and now, suddenly, reasonable Governor of the Buckeye state: Read More…
In case you missed it, this Fayetteville Observer editorial helps explain the remarkable blindness of the Pope/Tillis/Berger/McCrory decision to deny health insurance to a half-million North Carolinians by refusing to allow the expansion of Medicaid at a comparatively tiny cost to the state. After documenting the disastrous impact the decision is having on poorer, rural hospitals like Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton, the editorial concludes this way:
“The rationale for the legislature’s decision was that Medicaid is “broken” because its cost rose as more people sought assistance while recovery from a record recession lagged.
The illogic of that position must be drawing some political heat. This week Senate and House leaders took to filming a protest and doing head counts of protesters and journalists – small-bore politics.
‘An expansion of Medicaid would cost North Carolina taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars through 2021,’ they said in a joint release.
Probably so. But not expanding Medicaid is going to cost us billions, much sooner. If it leaves a landscape strewn with closed, underfunded or understaffed hospitals, that will be the heaviest cost of all.”
Read the entire editorial by clicking here.
In a rather amazing response to the bad P.R. they’ve been receiving for their toughest-in-the-nation policies toward the poor and unemployed over the last several months, Gov. McCrory and his budget director, chain store magnate Art Pope, issued a pair of press releases today in an attempt to show what caring souls they are.
Unfortunately for both men, both statements come off as almost comically pathetic in their failure to appreciate the magnitude of the problem confronting people in need.
The Governor’s statement was probably the funniest: he announced that:
“approximately 6,700 pounds of fresh turnip greens harvested at the state prison farm at Caledonia Correctional Institution are being delivered to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.”
Gee thanks, Guv! That ought to take care of that pesky hunger problem!
Pope, meanwhile, Read More…
Ohio: That’s the latest state led by a conservative Republican governor to realize the utter mathematical stupidity of saying “no” to a federally-funded Medicaid expansion for a huge chunk of its poorest citizens.
This is from the folks at Think Progress:
“Ohio joined the list of states expanding Medicaid for Americans under 133 percent of the federal poverty line on Monday, after a special seven-member budgetary oversight panel made up of state lawmakers gave final approval to Gov. John Kasich’s (R) decision to grow the program via executive order….
Medicaid expansion, a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, is expected to cut Ohio’s uninsurance rate by over 60 percent and extend basic health benefits to 275,000 of the poorest Ohio residents.”
At some point, Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly are going to wake up and acknowledge the undeniable math of the matter as well. No matter how many musty old Austrian economists the state budget director and his hirelings in the right-wing “think” tanks dredge up, at some point, elected politicians are going to figure out that it’s beyond mad to send billions of tax dollars to the feds so that they can redirect them to health providers in other states without providing North Carolina its fair share.
A half-million North Carolinians eagerly await the light bulb moment.