This, um, “discussion” over transparency in the state health plan is getting a wee bit overheated. State treasurer Dale Folwell, who has a constitutional mandate to administer the health plan, sees an urgent need to reform it and get costs under control. The state employees association appears to be solidly behind his efforts. But the big hospitals, and the legislators on their payrolls, are not happy.
One big hospital is really demonstrating its unhappiness with Folwell and his efforts with the health plan:
An acrimonious fight between hospital administrators and North Carolina’s state treasurer over a major shift in the state’s health plan has led to a personal attack.
Frank Kauder, the assistant director of finance for Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, wrote an email to state leaders, that said in part, “Burn in hell, you sorry SOBs.”
Kauder told WXII 12 News that he wrote that because he’s angry about proposed cuts to the state health plan and said that “politicians need to grow a thick skin.”
The email went on to say that “your plan to cut payments to hospitals could possibly be the most moronic idea I have ever seen come out of state government, and since you retardicians have taken power, and that’s saying a lot.”
The email is dated July 1, the same day Kauder’s boss at Cone Health, Terry Akin, informed staff by email that the hospital would not join the state health plan.
Akin urged staff to contact their state senator or state Treasurer Dale Folwell.
Kauder said in his email that budget cuts to hospitals would hurt some of the most important people in the community — including school teachers — and described how hospitals provide care to the poorest members of the community.
The email also goes on to criticize the treasurer’s political party, the Republicans Party, saying “poor people generally don’t vote for your party, so you want them to die.”
Folwell said his plan mirrors the goals identified in a recent executive order from President Donald Trump on health care that calls for more transparency and lower costs.
So far, none of the major hospitals in the Triad have signed on to the new state health plan, which covers more than 700,000 state workers, teachers and retirees.
Cone Health made the following statement in response to the email sent by its employee:
“This is a personal opinion and Cone Health disagrees with the content and tone of the email. Respectful dialogue is the key to a better health plan for state employees.”
Initially, Kauder told WXII 12 News that the email speaks for itself and he wouldn’t have anything more to say about it.
However, he sent another statement to the station about the email Wednesday afternoon, stating the following:
“I was speaking my own political opinions in that email, independent of my role at Cone Health, where I work as a front-line manager, not a high-ranking executive. I was simply expressing my free speech rights.”
Was he using his official Cone Health email address when he sent that vile message? If he was, he was ON DUTY.