Anti-Folwell bill passes House Health Committee by voice vote, Moves ON.

 

We’ve seen it time and again:  SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY TALKS.   The solar goons have worked their black magic by raining cash down on Jones Street.  And now the hospital lobby has done the same and achieved the same results.

Laugh yourself silly the next time Chris Fitzsimon or some other silly Raleigh liberal takes to the airwaves to complain about what “conservative extremists” are doing to our fair state.  In just nine short years, conservatism in Raleigh has been MURDERED.  ANNIHILATED.

Big government has won.  The rest of us are left standing on the sidelines, mouths agape in shock and awe, watching what’s being done with our money and wondering what the hell it is we voted for in 2010.   We’re spectators (who happen to be footing the bill for this ugly orgy.)  Just got ahead and strike that “limited government” and fiscal responsibility” *nonsense* from the state GOP platform.  Keeping it in there, and continuing to mouth those platitudes, is deeply dishonest.  

 

Former state representative Dale Folwell (R) worked wonders in cleaning up the highly FUBAR-ed unemployment insurance system.  You would think it would be a no-brainer to put him on fixing that money-bleeding  nightmare known as the state health plan.  (The plan  made it to its current sorry state in no small part to the micro-managing mischief by legislators in both parties who saw it as their own personal piggy-bank and slush fund.)

 

So, along comes Dale Folwell trying to do exactly what the legislature empowered the state treasurer’s office to do years ago:  competently manage the state health plan.  Folwell decided taxpayers needed to understand exactly what  health care providers were billing the health plan FOR.

This did not sit well with the folks at the hospitals and clinics sending in those fat, vague, non-specific bills.  Armies of lobbyists were dispatched to spend dark money on ads smearing Folwell and his pricing transparency plan.  A lot of politician pockets were lined.  A bill got drafted (with a lot of lobbyist, um. “help”)  that tied Folwell’s hands on exactly what he could to in regard to the state health plan.

 

The bill, H184, got its first hearing in the House Health Committee today.  Conveniently, there was NO roll call vote on this expensive legislation — with a total cost over 3 years of $400 to 600 MILLION. 

 

The bill did get amended.  The time frame for the “study” on  changing the health plan was shortened. The state employees — who stand to be affected the most by this bill — got their representation on the “study committee” expanded from ONE to TWO.  (Isn’t that nice?)    And the whole package is still going to cost the taxpayers an additional $241 MILLION.

 

Sources in the room during the committee vote tell us that state Reps. Phil Shepard  (R) and Michael Wray (D) appeared to be the only NO votes.

 

So, the next stop is the House Insurance Committee, and then the Rules Committee.  Then, it goes to the House floor.

 

There was no real good reason to do this.  It went against one of the alleged core principles of the majority party.  The prime beneficiaries of the state health plan — the state employees — appear  to be solidly behind what Folwell is doing.   Taxpayers — seeking to avoid a $400-600 MILLION hit from doing NOTHING and “studying” the idea of reform — appear to be all for it.

 

But the deep-pocketed lobbyists who are so kind and compassionate to campaign accounts all over Jones Street were not happy and HAD to be mollified.

 

 

It’s a sad day for The Republican Party and conservatism itself, and likely the end of any hope of continuing any kind go GOP dominance in Raleigh

16 thoughts on “Anti-Folwell bill passes House Health Committee by voice vote, Moves ON.

  1. Let’s be very clear. SEANC did NOT support HB184 or the amendment increasing the slots on the study committee. We did not ask Rep Ball to propose this amendment. A roll call vote was not done but a hand raise vote was. This was done at the request of Rep Phil Shepard. He and Rep Michael Wray were the only members of the House Health Committee to vote against H184 and we thanked both of them afterwards. H184 is bad for state employees, retirees, and taxpayers. We have supported Treasurer Folwell and the State Health Board of Trustees on the Clear Pricing Project and will continue to do so.

  2. Medicaid Murphy strikes again. He should be running against his liberal buddy Allen Thomas in the Democratic primary.

    No conservatives in good conscience could vote for this liberal. I don’t care how many leftovers from Walter Jones’ last campaign are involved. Opportunist over integrity.

  3. Need to keep your eye on medicaid Murphy. He is voting for his pocket book not yours. My God help us if he gets Walter Jones seat.

  4. Brant, I do not believe this is the end of conservatism in Raleigh. I believe this is a fight worth fighting, and there are people willing to fight it.

    Greg Murphy voted for HB-184 and got it through the House Health Committee he chairs showing that he is NOT the conservative he says he is.

    However, Phil Shepard who is on the committee voted against it. Also, Michael Speciale who is not on the committee attended the meeting and vowed to fight against HB-184 on the floor of the House if the bill gets through the other two committees (Insurance and Rules committees). The best place to kill a bill is in committee, but Michael Speciale is a persuasive conservative who has convinced fellow legislators to change their votes from the House floor on previous issues and it’s possible he can do it with HB-184.

    It’ll be better though if We the People can “turn up the heat” so that members of the 2 remaining committees are hesitant about voting to move HB-184 to the House floor. Your article here is a good step in that direction. The County Compass newspaper will have articles on the subject this week, too. CCTA and the John Locke Foundation are jointly sponsoring a presentation in New Bern by Dale Folwell on April 16 at 7 p.m. in the Stanly Hall Ballroom at 249 Craven Street to which all citizens are cordially invited to attend. There may be other similar presentations elsewhere in the state, and if so, I hope the people putting them on will share that info with you. We can do this! Shoulder to the wheel!

    1. Thanks to Phil Sheppard demanding a vote by show of hands, Murphy was thwarted on a voice vote, but it is still not a recorded vote. Someone should post a list of the Republican committee members present, since all of them except Sheppard would have voted this bill out of committee. That list needs to get out there so that Republican activists can get to work on them.

      Murphy did more than just push the bill through committee. He spoke in favor of it and he voted for it. He has crapped in his mess kit as far as his Congressional ambitions are concerned.

      This is a bill against transparency, something that most candidates claim to be for, including Murphy. The whole issue took off when Dale Folwell sought hospital records to justify the fees they were charging the State Health Plan, and the hospital administrators stonewalled. Something must be seriously wrong for the hospital administrators to play hide the cheese on these records. Now some politicians want to let them get away with it. Dale Folwell is doing his job. He fixed the broken Unemployment Compensation System, and is now trying to do the same for the broken State Health Plan which is bleeding money. It is disgusting that some politicians on the campaign gravy train of the special interests are trying to thwart him to line the pocketbooks of those special interests at the expense of taxpayers and at the expense of bankrupting the State Health Plan.

    2. “Michael Speciale is a persuasive conservative who has convinced fellow legislators to change their votes from the House floor on previous issues and it’s possible he can do it with HB-184.” Actually, your campaigning here for Speciale is annoying. Let’s stick to the topic at hand.

      1. Representative Michael Speciale attended the meeting. Rep. Speciale is against the current Bill and after the meeting in the hallway we talked to him. He wanted Treasurer Dale Folwell to be present at the meeting to ask questions, but the House Health Plan Committee did NOT ask HIM!! APPARENTLY, the Representatives DID NOT WANT DALE FOLWELL there????

  5. This is just another example of the failed leadership in the Republican party. Nothing they have done over the last two election cycles have advanced the conservative cause of limited government.

  6. That’s B. Hanig raising his hand AGAINST Treasurer Dale Folwell’s clear pricing project to increase transparency and reduce costs? for the State Health Plan. In essence, him raising his hand supports adding $1.1b to Stare Health Plan debt, which is already only 5% funded, and has $35b in unfunded liabilities.
    A huge shout out and thanks to Representatives Shepard and Wray.
    The fight continues as the bill goes to the Insurance Committee. Unfortunately, we will see some of the same faces.

  7. If Art Pope hadnt died and Pat McCrory didnt listen to Henry Hinton so much he would have been re-elected.

    And none other than Hinton is pushing for and advising Medicaid Murphy. And Hinton is singing the Vidant songs for this anti-Folweel crusade. And Medicaid Murph is falling in line to protect his own back pocket. These RINOs are destroying the Republican Party in North Carolina.

    Maybe its time for Hinton to write another letter to the GOP leadership “threatening” to withdraw is financial support just like he did when he got booted of the Board of Governors.

    Dont let the Pitt County RINOs have control over the Third District. No the Medicaid Murphy!!

  8. I was hoping that I would not regret leaving the House. But I wish now I was there to at least speak up in the closed caucuses where the decisions are made. Too many times good House members are lead astray by the few powerful because everyone knows you had better stay on the leaders’ good side if you want your bills to move, want good committees, want to be chairmen of important committees, want good office space (for the first four years in the majority, office space was by seniority), want money in the budget, and perhaps, most of all, especially if you are in a competitive district, you want the leadership which raises the millions of dollars to put a lot of money behind you in your re-election campaign or to not recruit and fund a primary challenger to you. The answer all along has been to not let the leadership be so all-powerful, but too few members would openly go against the rules that the leaders wanted in place to guarantee their continued power. We have seen several well-funded interests succeed at getting the General Assembly to do some not so good things by giving lots and lots of money to a few well-placed leaders. There is a reason why the Speaker and the President Pro Tem can command millions of dollars from interests.

  9. I attended the meeting, with members of State Employee Association of NC which are were all against the HB 184 which will cost NC Tax Payers and NC State Employees higher Medical Insurance. Total is $ 300 MILLION a year! 2. Treasurer Dale Folwell was NOT ASKED TO ATTEND. Dale Folwell had provided plan to be cost LESS than $ 300 million yearly the HB 184 Study State Health Plan Design will cost! To meetings on Bills usually Folks attending can sign up to speak FOR or Against, but the State Health Plan of House members DID NOT ALLOW COMMENTS AND DID NOT ASK DALE FOLWELL, TREASURER TO ATTEND! Apparently spending $ 300 MILLION of TAX PAYERS MONEY WAS NOT A CONCERN!

  10. In a momentary lapse in my brain the post should have read if Jack Hawke hadnt of died not Art Pope. My apologies to the still alive Mr. Pope.

    But the fact remains if Jack Hawke hadnt of died and he hadnt listened to so much Henry Hinton — Pat McCrory would have been reelected.

    And in case anybody doesnt have anything to do tonight you can go to Greenville to the Boy Scouts (or whatever they are today) dinner where Medicaid Murphy is getting roasted. And who is his roaster? Henry Hinton. Henry was bragging about it this morning when he was stabbing the dagger into Dale Folwell.

    And incidentally Hinton was the roastee last year and his roaster none other than Medicaid Murphy. The pieces of the puzzle are coming together huh.

Comments are closed.