State treasurer Dale Folwell simply wants to introduce a little transparency into the relationship between health care providers and the state health plan: share some specifics about what you’re billing the plan, work with Folwell’s team to help control costs, and continue to be part of the team.
(Management of the state health plan was passed over to the state treasurer’s office some years back by the then-Democrat controlled General Assembly to put the kibosh on legislators using the health plan as their own personal slush fund, piggy bank, and jar of favors-to-be-doled-out-at-a-later-date. In other words, it was handed off to an independent manager because our legislators were not able to oversee it in a responsible manner. In other words, to basically avoid what we’re seeing go down TODAY. )
The state employees association is fine with what Folwell is doing. The hospital lobby is not. They’ve arranged for a bill to be drafted that seriously limits Folwell’s options in managing the health plan. They’ve also found a couple of handfuls of paid-off patsies in the North Carolina House to introduce said bill.
The bill, labeled HB 184 and sponsored chiefly by Rep. Josh “International Travel for Legislative Duties” Dobson, was forwarded to the House Committee on Health, which is chaired by Rep. Greg Murphy — who also happens to be running for Congress in the Third District.
HB 184 is on the calendar for Tuesday’s meeting of Murphy’s Health Committee. According to the House website, if HB 184 passes muster in Murphy’s committee, it goes on to the Insurance Committee, and then to Rep. David Lewis’s Rules Committee before heading to the House floor.
What happens with this bill will tell us a lot about where the NCGOP stands. Do we still have conservative leadership, or do we have whores addicted to special interest dollars who will drop us in a minute to go cater to a lobbyist’s needs?