The Republican troops on Jones Street keep marching along to the tune called by their Hospital Association paymasters. HB184, which ties treasurer Dale Folwell’s hands in trying to control costs with the state health plan, got rammed through the NC House on a second reading today.
(Surprise! That gutless wonder Kelly Hastings disappeared right when another tough, controversial vote went down. I wonder if he charged his campaign mileage for that escape maneuver?)
State Rep. Michael Speciale and about two dozen other legislators attempted to stop the juggernaut, but were voted down overwhelmingly.
It’s getting closer to moving on to the Republican-controlled Senate. As we now know, “Republican” and “fiscal conservatism” are mutually-exclusive terms. (So, it’s anybody’s guess as to what happens to it over there.)
It’s interesting. Folwell got all kinds of kudos for straightening out the mess that was unemployment insurance during the McCrory administration. Now, the Democrats and a bunch of his fellow Republicans are putting the kibosh on Folwell’s moves to help the ailing health plan — which is bleeding money and threatening to pile significant new and higher costs on state employees and taxpayers as a whole.
The state health plan was transferred over to the treasurer’s domain about a decade ago, out of concern that too many legislators were using it as their own personal slush fund and favor repository. Basically, causing too much mischief.
Stuff like what’s going on today leads you to see the wisdom of that move so many years ago.