NC’s hyper-regulated health care

Only New Jersey, Hawaii, DC, and Vermont slap more red-tape on their health care providers than North Carolina does.  THAT information comes from a recent study by The Mercatus Center at Virginia’s George Mason University:  In the summer of 2016, New Hampshire became the 15th state to repeal its “certificate-of-need” (CON) program. This means that 35 states and the District of Columbia currently prohibit entry or expansion of healthcare facilities through CON programs. These laws, which require government permission before a facility can expand, offer a new service, or purchase certain pieces of equipment, were enacted in the belief that…

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Monkey Business Update: Fear and Loathing in Haywood County

Haywood County is a quiet, sleepy locale in the western North Carolina mountains.  It’s a rarity for that region — a Democrat stronghold.  Lately, its politics have become quite a raucous affair. Local Tea Party activists took over the county Republican Party organization.  A Republican activist managed to pull off a shocking upset and win November’s election for county tax collector. (Yes, Haywood County is the last in the state to elect a tax collector.) Right before the Republican was to be sworn in on December 1, the Democrat-dominated county board of commissioners decided to raise his bond to $410,000…

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A new Sheriff Stone hits the streets

One of the best stories from this past election day was Republican — and former state trooper — Keith Stone being elected Sheriff of Nash County. Stone and I both have roots in southeastern North Carolina’s Robeson County. My grandfather — longtime political capo di tutti / boss of bosses for the local political machine —  and longtime Robeson County sheriff Hubert Stone — Keith’s father — ran things together in the county for decades.  Hubert — who was sheriff from 1978 to 1994 — was a no-nonsense kind of guy who brought comparisons to Buford Pusser from “Walking Tall.”   As expected,…

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Sizing up the Post-Thom era on Jones Street

Now that it’s clear that Mr. Big Boy Pants is headed to DC, it’s time to start sizing up the battle to fill the leadership void at the top of the state House food chain. State Rep. Justin Burr has just thrown his hat into the ring for the speaker’s post. But I think the real fight comes down to TWO: Reps. Leo Daughtry (R-Johnston) and Tim Moore (R-Cleveland).  Insiders tell me that Daughtry has raised and distributed a hellacious amount of money for the House caucus.  He is responsible for an awful lot of cash that went into campaign…

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Not just an election, but a restraining order.

It is absolutely amazing how many people have reacted to the recently completed elections in the same fashion as they would to athletic events.  Yay, Blue Devils! Yay, Panthers! Yay, Thom! The recently completed campaigns were so devoid of substantive content that they honestly became comparable to ACC football or basketball skirmishes.  It was all about who gets bragging rights, rather than who has the plan to get us out of the mess we’re in.  I find myself in agreement with Erick Erickson and Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday’s vote.  It was NOT about how much we love Thom Tillis or…

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#ncpol: Wednesday morning quarterback

$100 million for THIS?  Somebody needs to talk to the manager or ask for a refund or something.  The smoke has cleared. The campaign paraphernalia is still littering the road shoulders.  And we’ve got two to six years (in some cases FOREVER) to contemplate or endure the choices that were made yesterday.  Let’s get started: US Senate: Either way this went, history was going to be made.  If Hagan had won, it would have been the first time in 46 years that a Democrat has been re-elected to a US Senate seat in North Carolina.  Thom Tillis’s 48-47 victory gives…

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#ncga: Rep. Moffitt says I-77 toll contracts “can be cancelled out”

Gov. Pat McCrory and Senate nominee Thom Tillis and state House president pro tem Skip Stam have all told us to BEND OVER and wait for those toll roads.  They’re coming.  But Asheville’s Tim Moffitt (R) — locked in a tight reelection fight for the state House — says NOT SO FAST. At last week’s Asheville Tea Party meeting, Moffitt took some questions from constituents about toll lanes and toll roads (AUDIO IS HERE). “First of all, it’s just been conversations that have happened.  No commitments have been made,” the Asheville Republican can be heard saying. Well, what about the signed contracts…

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ONCE AGAIN: “Expanding Medicaid” = ObamaCare

I seriously can’t understand the logic behind having TWO prominent Republican leaders go public — right in front of a HUGE election — with their desire to expand Medicaid. Gov. Pat McCrory and his DHHS queen Aldona Wos first hinted about it.  Senate nominee — and state House speaker — Thom Tillis said he thought it was a great idea for the next legislative session (after he is gone, of course).  Now — just days before we all go to vote — Gov. Pat is doubling down: […] In addition to shaping a plan for networks of physicians and hospitals…

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#ncsen: Sean Haugh, “principled conservative” ???

Yep.  That’s what THIS MAILER that showed up in a lot of North Carolina snail-mail boxes on Thursday says.  It tells you that Thom Tillis “has been very busy … Raising our taxes.” There is no disclaimer IDing who paid for it.  It seems to insinuate that Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh paid for it.  But looking at his campaign finances, his past practices, and the fact it only attacks Tillis, really makes me doubt it.  My first instinct is to believe this mailer is PAYBACK for the conservative-financed ad campaign  promoting Sean Haugh at the expense of Kay Hagan. The…

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#ncsen: What the Tillis camp is thinking riiiiiiiiight NOW

National Review’s Jim Geraghty has talked with a source of his who he says is a consultant “plugged in” to the GOP’s efforts in the Colorado and North Carolina US Senate races.  Here’s what his source has to say about our race: In North Carolina, the outlook for Thom Tillis brightened somewhat. After consistently trailing by about three points through most of September and early October, Tillis and incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan are tied in the latest NBC News/Marist poll and the latest Survey USA poll. This consultant thinks that the ads from liberal outside groups in favor of Hagan…

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