Wednesday News: Health care train wreck

BILL THAT WOULD POSTPONE AND STUDY FOLWELL'S FOLLY STUCK IN NC SENATE: The original deadline for health care providers to sign a contract with the State Health Plan – agreeing to the state-set payment rates – was July 1. Folwell reopened that deadline, to Monday night. Since neither of Charlotte’s major hospital systems, Atrium Health and Novant Health, signed on to Folwell’s “Clear Pricing Plan,” they would be considered out of network for state employees in 2020. State-owned hospital system UNC Health didn’t sign on to the plan either, even after a Monday meeting with Folwell. A bill calling for a financial study of the proposed State Health Plan passed the North Carolina House of Representatives in April, the Winston-Salem Journal reported. House Bill 184 would create a committee to study the sustainability of the plan and delay its implementation. But the bill has been stuck in a Senate committee since April.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article233531127.html

Tuesday News: Fun, sun, and fecal matter?

NC'S BEACHES CONTAMINATED BY SEWER RUNOFF: More than 100 North Carolina beaches and waterways were potentially unsafe for swimming at least one day last year because they were contaminated with bacteria that makes people sick. A report by Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center released Monday said 127 of 213 areas in the state had levels of fecal contamination that made swimming unsafe on at least one day in 2018. Fecal contamination comes from runoff, sewer overflows and leaks, and industrial farms, the report said. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality tests water at 204 coastal beaches weekly or every other week between April and September, twice a month in October, and monthly from November through March, and posts advisories on its website. Four of the top 10 sites in North Carolina with potentially unsafe swimming days were in Beaufort County. A Pamlico Sound access point in Belhaven had 11 potentially unsafe days, the most recorded in the state, according to the report.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article233545667.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

If not now, when?

They shouldn't have to do this, but Republican leaders have neither the desire nor the courage to protect our citizens.

Federal debt projected to reach 28 Trillion by 2029

I've never been much of a deficit hawk, but this is crazy:

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government — aka U.S. taxpayers — will spend $455 billion on interest next year. By 2029, that figure is projected to rise to $921 billion.

Beginning next year, he said, the federal government will spend more on interest than it will on programs affecting children. By 2025, he said, taxpayers will pay more on interest than they do on national defense. “Our budget will be spending more on our past than we do on our future,” Peterson said. “That’s a stark reminder of what we’re leaving our children here.”

Reaganomics was bad enough, when excessive tax cuts for the wealthy ended up with Social Security recipients paying fricking tax on their own retirement money. But Trumpism has broke the mold, and we will look back on the $1.5 Trillion tax giveaway as the epitome of ignorance by the time 2030 hits. And before you say, "they always do it," take a look at the late 1990's:

Monday News: Equality wins

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GOVERNOR COOPER ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER BANNING CONVERSION THERAPY: No taxpayer money should be used for “conversion therapy” practices that treat being gay as a mental illness, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday when he signed a new executive order targeting the controversial therapy. “No child should be told that they must change their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Kendra R. Johnson, executive director of the LGBT advocacy group Equality NC, in a press release. “We’re grateful that Gov. Cooper agrees. We are committed to ending this debunked practice and will work for statewide protections.” Conversion therapy is the process of trying to force LGBTQ people to change their sexual identity or preference. It can use techniques ranging from prayer to electrical shocks. The American Psychiatric Association considers it an unethical practice with “no credible evidence” to back it.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article233442222.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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LEGISLATORS-BRIBES DON'T WORK. STOP BUDGET SPIN. SINCERELY NEGOTIATE WITH GOV. COOPER: Rather than appealing to the angels of our better nature, the leaders of the General Assembly have gone whole-hog to override the governor’s veto. Touring the state, in statements for news reports as well as commentary and columns placed throughout the state, legislators are echoing the talking points coming out of Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore’s offices. They warn funding for $383.1 million in pet projects in home districts – known as pork barrel -- are in jeopardy because of Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget veto. Only an override will assure the projects are funded. These statements and commentaries fail to reveal that the same legislators had little or no interest in funding most of the projects – regardless of their worthiness – until they desperately needed a ploy to attack Gov. Roy Cooper.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-legislators-bribes-don-t-work-stop-budget-spin-sincerely-negotiate-wi...

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