health care

Video: Missing the “Who” in Health Care

This week Real Facts NC launched a documentary series, Missing Us. The series focuses on capturing the effects of legislative decisions on the lives of North Carolinians through storytelling. The first installment highlights Greensboro resident Ali Collins and how, as a Black queer and trans person, his preexisting conditions make it harder for him to access health care. Future installments will cover health care from different perspectives.

On September 11, after telling Democrats and reporters that no votes would occur, Republican House Speaker Tim Moore called for a surprise vote in the House to override a veto of a budget that did not include Medicaid expansion. Most Democratic members were not present. House Republicans now say they’ll move forward with a plan that would expand Medicaid, but by tacking work requirements and premiums onto health care plans.

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Video: Missing Us: Real Facts NC Documentary Series Illuminates Pitfalls of Health Care Access

Heath care access has been central to conversations about North Carolina politics. In addition to the surprise passing of the state budget, bills like S86, which aims to provide coverage for small businesses, trade associations, and other groups of professionals who are in the same industry or line of work through what’s called an “association health plan,”leaving health care coverage for many North Carolinians in limbo. Current counter-proposal legislation from the NC GOP adds work requirements. Additionally, new prerequisites to Medicaid access in the state budget could leave residents seeking care without essential benefits and North Carolinians with pre-existing conditions without equal access. Bills and proposals like these could undermine the DHHS’ ability to “protect people’s health and safety.” Access is already a struggle for people with pre-existing conditions, many of whom already suffer from a lack of safety and health care access.

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Surprise vote is new low for House Republicans desperate to deny heath care for 500,000 people.

  Deb Butler does not yield. (from John Autry on Vimeo.) What just happened? Why is everyone freaking out?  In an early morning session, the North Carolina House, under the direction of Speaker Tim Moore, overrode Gov. Cooper’s budget veto in a surprise vote. What budge…

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While we’ve been waiting on Tim Moore to realize he doesn’t have the budget votes, House Republicans keep failing North Carolinians on health care.

Last week Rep. Brandon Lofton (D-Mecklenburg) tried to amend an omnibus health care bill that changes several laws regulating different aspects of the broad health care industry. His amendment, which would have increased price transparency for prescription drugs, was ruled out of order. 

At a time when drug prices for many North Carolinians are skyrocketing, Republicans voted down one method of mitigating increased costs.
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Republicans refusal to compromise on Medicaid expansion leaves out vulnerable, often forgotten, North Carolinians

The refusal of Republican lawmakers to come to the table on Medicaid expansion not only attacks health care access of many residents planning to enroll or re-enroll in Medicaid in November but also puts vulnerable North Carolinians at serious health risk. North Carolina received a D in wome…

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REPORT: "Carolina Cares" puts politicians between patients and their doctors

The Republican health care plan puts politicians between patients and their doctors and fails thousands of North Carolina families by making health care more costly and complex. Read more here.
  • The 2019 Republican health care plan fails to cover thousands of North Carolina families by putting needless bureaucracy between patients and their doctors.
    • Most people who lose coverage under work requirement plans are complying with requirements and are dropped due to reporting issues.
    • 91,000 lost coverage after Indiana implemented a plan cited as the model by Republican legislators in North Carolina.
    • 17,000 lost coverage in Arkansas after the state passed work requirements later struck down by a federal judge.
  • The Republican plan puts politicians between patients and their doctors and creates a more costly and complex health care system.
    • Work requirements and premiums increase uncompensated care costs for hospitals that treat people regardless of whether or not they are insured. A system that forces more people to use the hospital to get care costs more.
    • Work requirements and premiums are a waste of taxpayer money.
    • Work requirements in other states have cost between $70 million and $170 million to implement; the federal government will not pay for much of the cost of implementation.
  • Most people eligible for Medicaid are already working and more red tape will make it harder for people in low-wage jobs to access care.
    • In Arkansas, similar legislation increased the number of uninsured people.

 

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UPDATED: Real Facts NC seeking records from Senator Bishop on his meetings with lobbyists and connections to NCGOP Corruption Scandal

Update: View the records we received from Sen. Bishop's office in respose to this request here.

Real Facts NC seeking records from Senator Bishop on his meetings with lobbyists and connections to NCGOP Corruption Scandal

Bishop concealed meetings with lobbyists and distanced himself from the Robin Hayes indictment and Mark Harris election fraud. What isn’t he telling voters?

Real Facts NC filed requests with the office of NC Senator Bishop for correspondence with key lobbyists and special interests, as well as actors related to corruption within his party.

The group is specifically seeking Senator Bishop’s calendar, to understand who he meets with in his public office, information Senator Bishop previously refused to share. Senator Bishop’s refusal to share who he met with underlines the inexplicable fact he was the only Senator, of either party, to vote against legislation that would make prescription drugs more affordable.  

Real Facts also seeks Senator Bishop’s correspondence with Rev. Mark Harris, who he endorsed, as well as Kelly Tain, Bishop’s long-time campaign manager and a political consultant. Tain also worked for Harris on his now-invalidated campaign for the 9th District seat that was “tainted” by election fraud. 

Records concerning Bishop’s ties to recently indicted NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes are also sought to find out if he is using his public office for political work.  Bishop tried distance himself from Hayes and  outgoing Executive Director of the NCGOP Dallas Woodhouse in recent weeks. 

 

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Part 1: These Democrats voted against Medicaid expansion - here's what their vote cost their districts

Rep. Cecil Brockman’s district received more than $2.7M in nonrecurring funds in the 2019 budget but could have benefitted from $683M in increased economic activity and $7.7M in increased tax revenue by 2022 with Medicaid expansion. 35,194 more people in Guilford county could have health care by 2022 if Medicaid were expanded.

Rep. Howard Hunter voted for a Republican budget that contained $100K in one-time grant money for his district. Meanwhile, Medicaid expansion would bring in $30M in increased economic activity and $304K in tax revenue by 2022. 

Rep. Elmer Floyd’s district received nearly $1.4M in nonrecurring funds in the 2019 Republican budget, but Medicaid expansion would bring $141M more in economic activity to his district. 18,451 people in Cumberland county could have health care by 2022 under Medicaid expansion. 

Read part one of the full report here.

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If Sen. Don Davis stood up to Republicans, Rep. Sydney Batch wouldn’t have to cut her recovery short

Since Governor Cooper vetoed S359, a bill that would criminalize doctors, shame patients, and disproportionately impact Black women, legislative dramatics have reached new heights. The bill is up for another vote in the House today.

The fight over the veto override began with Sen. Don Davis (D-Greene, Pitt) casting the deciding vote to override Gov. Cooper's veto of S359 in the Senate. He also voted for the original bill. Davis was the only Democrat in the Senate to vote against Gov. Cooper and in line with Republicans on this restrictive bill that addresses a “problem” that does not exist and places further restrictions on safe reproductive health care.

For those unfamiliar with legislative procedure, Sen. Davis’s vote in favor of overriding the veto resulted in the bill ending up in the House’s infamous “veto garage.” Republican House Speaker Tim Moore placed the vote to override the veto of S359 on the calendar and withdrew it on nine separate occasions between May 2 and May 29, likely because Republicans didn’t have the votes they needed to override the Governor’s veto. However, Democrats like Rep. Sydney Batch (D-Wake), kept showing up, thus preventing an override. 

Rep. Batch, however, is recovering from cancer. Her seatmate, Rep. Ashton Clemmons (D- Guilford), said Batch is too weak to drive herself to the General Assembly so she has been driving Batch to and from sessions. She had to cut her recovery from a recent mastectomy short to make sure her vote to sustain the Governor’s veto is counted. While Sen. Davis chose to fall in line with Republican leadership that is supposedly “pro-life” yet refuses to expand Medicaid, Rep. Batch returned to the General Assembly soon after surgery to prevent her Republican colleagues from capitalizing on her absence.

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