#ncpol: Dale Folwell v. BIG HEALTH CARE (Ready to Rumble?)

In the NC House, Dale Folwell demonstrated over and over that he didn’t come to Raleigh to join the clique and make nice.  Here in the age of Trump, Folwell is shaking things up and maintaining that bulldog style from his perch in the state treasurer’s office.  And the swamp-dwellers and associated parasites are none too happy about it.  Here’s an item from a recent Business NC email newsletter:

Our state’s most interesting feud may be the simmering dispute between State Treasurer Dale Folwell and North Carolina’s hospitals. I wrote about it in this month’s Business North Carolina. Frustrated that he isn’t receiving cost data, Folwell put more gas on the fire last week by suggesting he wants the State Health Plan to pay roughly the same prices for its 700,000 members as Medicare recipients. Hospitals, which say they often don’t get fair compensation from Medicare, dispute Folwell’s approach.

Health care is notoriously complex, but the dispute comes down to some simple disagreements: Folwell wants the providers to explain their costs so he can trim the $2.7 billion spent by the state plan annually. The day of reckoning for out-of-control health care spending is here, he says.

The industry says his approach is overly simplistic and threatens the viability of some of North Carolina’s 131 institutions, particularly in smaller cities where the state is the biggest employer. 

“He is trying to bully people into accepting this deal,” says Julie Henry, spokeswoman for the N.C. Healthcare Association, which represents hospitals. Adds association President Steve Lawler: “Mr. Folwell, an accountant, has limited understanding of the complexity of health care and what actually works to benefit patients and improve health.” […]

*Hoo-boy.*  Suggesting that Folwell doesn’t understand the nuances of financial management?  Good luck with that.

Dale Folwell is hands-down the most qualified person to occupy the treasurer’s office in modern memory.  That guy has forgotten more about finance and management than all the political hack lobbyists in Raleigh KNOW combined.  

These folks are used to having their way with hacks like Richard Moore and Janet Cowell, as well as that horde of ethically-pliable individuals on Jones Street.  Folwell’s 2016 rise to the treasurer’s office really turned over the money-changers’ tables.  A real game-changer for taxpayers. 

The hospital crowd has been coddled by protectionist regulations like certificates of need — which kill off competition to existing hospitals, limit patient choices, and guarantee high costs. Imagine if these folks actually had to compete for our business like local small businesses do. 

Controlling costs is a key component of reforming health care.  Folwell has the right idea.  To really make some headway on the issue, he needs a few profiles in courage in the legislature to tackle burdensome regulations that drive costs upward.

Dale Folwell is one of the few electeds in Raleigh who puts US ahead of the lobbyists and other assorted parasites.  He’s been there for us.  We need to be there for him in fights like this.