Be sure to check out the lead editorial from yesterday’s Fayetteville Observer. In it, the authors celebrate state Treasurer Dale Folwell’s decision to, finally, blink in his battle with health care providers over reimbursement rates in the state health plan.
As the Observer notes, Folwell had been playing games with state employee health coverage for much too long:
Sometimes giving up is the right thing to do.
After meeting stiff resistance from more than 100 of the state’s hospitals, state Treasurer Dale Folwell on Friday dropped his plan to change how the state reimburses hospitals for medical coverage of state employees….
The drama between the Republican official, state legislators and hospitals had put schoolteachers in middle. For several tense months, they were at the center of a larger political battle playing out in state government. It was a sadly familiar position for the women and men we trust with our most valuable resource, children. They were potentially facing, at the top of next year, steeply higher prices for medical coverage under the State Health Plan.
The editorial concludes that while there were legitimate issues to be discussed, Folwell would do well to ditch the “bull in the china shop” approach to future negotiations:
A year or so from now, we hope all parties are ready to sit down and chart a course toward a sustainable plan for the future.
We would also like to see this happen without the go-for-broke tactics that too often define negotiations in our state’s politics. Specifically, we weary of seeing schoolteachers continue to be used as a handy political football in the General Assembly’s Republicans vs. Democrats grudge match. You’ll recall they are also part of the current budget impasse between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the Republican-controlled legislature, where the two sides disagree over teacher pay raises.
Our teachers got a break this time. Let’s make that the rule, not the exception.
Th editorial might have also pointed out that if Folwell would get on board with Medicaid expansion and stop supporting massive GOP tax cuts for the wealthy, the state would have billions more dollars at its disposal to deal with issues like this in the future.
Click here to read the entire editorial.