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- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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Opinion

...in government malfeasance

This is the fourth week that thousands of North Carolina families are doing without unemployment benefits to which they are entitled. It’s hard to overstate what a shockingly reprehensible state of affairs this constitutes.

Think for just a moment about what’s been happening in all of our names:

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In the April 8th edition of The Franklin Press, Vic Drummond charged both the Press itself, as well as the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE), as co-conspirators in some nefarious plot to misinform the public as to North Carolina teacher salaries relative to those in the other 49 states.

Time for class Mr. Drummond.

You profess befuddlement at our contention that we have suffered an $1,800 a year cut and state that it just can’t be. Consider the changes in our health care plan — one of those benefits you believe to be understated. Take a look at Senate Bill 265 which at the time of the first Press article had passed both houses of the NC General Assembly.

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The House budget that could be approved in the next two weeks would cut more than a billion dollars in health and human services spending over the next two years, more than $710 million of it Medicaid. That’s a bad idea for several reasons.

The deep reductions in Medicaid funding means fewer services for people who need them, lower reimbursements for the medical professionals who provide them, and a loss to the state of more than $2 billion in federal Medicaid funding since the federal government matches state Medicaid expenditures 2 to 1.

A significant portion of the budget savings comes from paying doctors less for treating Medicaid patients and from the elimination of a routine inflationary increase that’s built into the program to take into account rising health care costs.

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Robert Burns wrote about the best laid schemes of mice and men. In First Corinthians, Paul wrote of leaving childish things behind.

Whatever quote is most appropriate, the tornadoes that ripped through the eastern half of North Carolina on Saturday tended to make the political games being played in Raleigh look pretty childish.

On the same day that the devastating tornadoes rolled through the state — one of them just four blocks east of the Legislative Building — legislative Republicans sent a bill to the desk of Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue to extend unemployment benefits for 37,000 North Carolinians.

 

 

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published: 10/18/2013
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