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.Read More
Dan Bishop (R- Mecklenburg) is serving his second term in the NC Senate. Prior to joining the NC Senate, Bishop was a representative in the NC House for one term.
Bishop repeatedly voted against making health care more affordable and accessible for North Carolinians.He was the only NC Senator to favor big pharmaceutical companies over North Carolinians and vote against H384, a bill that protected small community pharmacists and kept prescriptions affordable. Bishop, along with other Senate Republicans, chose to amend a school safety bill to include provisions intended to destabilize the Affordable Care Act, once again failing to protect North Carolinians’ health care.
Bishop was a primary sponsor of HB2, demonstrating how little he cares about protecting the LGBTQ+ community in NC. Not only did HB2 fail to protect the LGBTQ+ community, but it also cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars. Bishop was more than willing to prioritize his discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community above the NC economy.
In 2015 Bishop voted to increase taxes on NC families and small business owners, making it more expensive to do business, get a driver’s license, and have a baby. He also voted to cut food stamps for 100,000 North Carolinians. Read more here.Read More
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.
Read the full report here.Read More
Read the full report here.Read More
Senate Bill 86 creates opportunities for small businesses to provide health care for employees using Association Health Plans (AHPs) authorized under federal guidelines. The Trump administration rolled out AHPs in June 2018, claiming they would result in lower prices and more choices for employers and employees. S86 would require coverage for people with preexisting conditions and allow parents to keep children on up to age 26.
AHPs don’t have as many consumer protections as other health plans. Due to this, economists and experts say AHPs are risky and likened them to “running with scissors.”AHPs do not have to cover the ten “essential health benefits” required under the ACA and could exclude coverage for prescription drugs, for example, and smaller employers could skip maternity coverage requirements. Protections written into AHPs for people with preexisting conditions would be weakened by plans that make chronic care patients jump through more hoops or pay high deductibles.AHPs cannot discriminate against sick individuals, but do not offer complete protections for people with preexisting conditions who could face “roadblocks in finding affordable, comprehensive coverage.”
Read more analysis of S86 here.Read More
Read the full report here.Read More
H54, “Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment,” is an abortion method ban that would make dilation & evacuation prodcedures, referred to in the bill as “dismemberment abortion” illegal except in the case of “serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.” The bill intentionally uses the term of “dismemberment abortion” instead of dilation and evacuation, reflecting anti-abortion rhetoric. The bill makes exceptions for “serious heath risk to the unborn child’s mother” but does not include “psychological or emotional conditions.” Throughout, the bill refers to the patient as “the unborn child’s mother.”
H54 intentionally targets physicians who provide abortion. The bill text specifically offers civil immunity to patients, nurses, technicians, secretaries, receptionists, pharmacists, or “other employee or agent who is not a physician.” Moreover, the bill would make any physician who provides the procedure guilty of a civil offense and liable for sanction from the NC Medical Board.
Rep. Debra Conrad of Forsyth is a primary sponsor of the bill, which emerged amidst a flurry of anti-abortion legislation in early February 2019.
Read more on H54 here.Read More
As expanding access to health care becomes one of the leading priorities of the 2019 legislative session, gender identity, a less discussed determinant of access, deserves attention. Trans people are fighting to receive quality health care in North Carolina.
Trans people have been targeted by legislation in North Carolina in the past. One powerful instance was HB2, known as the “bathroom bill,” which restricted public bathroom use for people who were not cis men or women. Another part of this bill that was vastly overlooked made it clear that employees are able to discriminate against a person based on gender identity.
At the close of 2016, newly elected Republican treasurer Dale Folwell announced a goal to “reduce the state health plan’s 32 billion dollar debt, provide a more affordable family premium especially for our lowest paid employees and provide transparency to the taxpayers.” In 2017 Folwell announced the state health plan would no longer cover gender-affirming care for trans state employees as part of his cost-saving effort. This cut continues to undermine the well-being of trans people in North Carolina and advances a path to sanction the denial of rights of key constituents. At 2018’s open, hormone therapy- a method of gender affirmation and one utilized treatment for gender dysphoria- was cut from the state health plan. In 2019, this health plan will come under scrutiny by the legislature as they create NC’s overall budget- and it is in need of some serious changes.Read More
In an ad, Mike Lee claims “I care about solutions, I believe people are more important than politics and I care deeply about underserved and often overlooked individuals.” However, Lee’s record in the Senate proves otherwise; he has consistently voted for legislation that hurts “underserved and often overlooked individuals.”
Despite Lee’s claims he cares about people who are underserved, his record proves he has failed people who are underserved time and time again. Mike Lee faces Democrat Harper Peterson in Senate District 9.Read More