health care

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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23 advocacy groups call on lawmakers to vote to sustain the Governor's veto and oppose anything short of closing the Medicaid coverage gap

23 advocacy groups signed on to a letter Wednesday asking lawmakers to vote to sustain Governor Cooper's veto of the Republican budget. The groups are calling on lawmakers to stand strong in favor of Medicaid expansion, which they call the "the single most powerful policy tool for improving community health, reducing poverty, and enhancing economic opportunity in our state"
 
The groups also opposed work requirements and premiums which would fall short of closing the Medicaid coverage gap.
 
"We oppose the addition of unnecessary and costly barriers to care. Work requirements tie up beneficiaries in red tape threatening enrollees with the loss of coverage. [...] The proposed two percent premium of HB655 would force enrollees to choose between health care and putting food on the table for their families. These road blocks are in opposition to the intention of Medicaid Expansion as envisioned under the Affordable Care Act and undermines the objective to provide coverage to the most vulnerable families in our state."
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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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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Senator Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg)

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.

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Latest Republican abortion bill is another attempt to control the relationship between patients and their doctors

 

  • S359 is another Republican attack on health care using sensationalist claims not based in science. 
    • S359 seeks to “protect survivors” of abortions by criminalizing doctors
    • This practice does not exist in North Carolina because abortions are banned after 20 weeks.
  • Republicans are using an extreme agenda to intimidate patients and their doctors
    • North Carolina Republicans are trying to threaten doctors with criminal action and shame patients over practice not based in the reality of abortion care.
    • Doctors who fail to follow the law as prescribed in S356 could be subject to felony charges and health care practitioners would be required to report noncompliance.
    • There are already rigorous standards and requirements placed on abortion care.
  • This bill is part of an extreme agenda that seeks to ban abortion outright. 
    • This bill models a similar national bill that seeks to criminalize doctors
    • North Carolina House Republicans filed several abortion restrictions in 2019, including a 13-week abortion ban that would make North Carolina the state with the earliest abortion ban in the US outside bans that have been blocked by courts.
    • Since the Republican supermajority was elected in 2010, North Carolina has passed some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation.

Read the full report here.

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MEDICAID REPORT PART II: Republican plan won’t close the gap and will cost more

Republican health care plan could result in thousands losing coverage and is more costly and complex to implement than Medicaid expansion. Read the full report here.
  • The 2019 Republican health care planfails to cover thousands of North Carolina families.
    • Most people who lose coverage under work requirement plans are complying with requirements and are dropped due to reporting issues.
    • After Indiana implemented a plan cited as the model for the Republican plan 91,000 people were dropped from coverage
    • 17,000 Arkansans lost coverage under the state’s work requirements that were struck down by a federal judge
  • Implementation of the Republican plan would be more costly and complex than Medicaid Expansion.
    • Work requirements and premiums increase uncompensated care costs for hospitals which 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.
    • States did not save tax dollars when they implemented work requirements and premiums.
    • 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.

Read the full report here.

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