For those of us who think the purpose of government is to assure that all of us have access to what we need to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, this has been a dismal week. The North Carolina General Assembly presses onward with it’s effort to dismantle everything good in this state – our wonderful public early education and university systems that have enabled NC to lead among Southern states, our model health care programs for the poor to assure that they get regular, preventive care, a tax system that has been more progressive than regressive, strong auto insurance regulations that keep us covered and costs under control, a model racial justice act that addresses racial discrimination in our criminal justice system, state boards and commissions that assure we all have a voice in how decisions are made. In the past weeks the legislature has taken action to do away with all of these public programs and with the resources that have funded them. Frankly it reminds of what life was like in Washington DC under President George W Bush.
All of these leaders have taken an oath of office to abide by the laws of the state or the nation and promote the well-being of all its citizens – and then they turn out not to believe in government at all and instead do everything they can to destroy every program aimed at the public good. Add in the Republican leadership in our current Congress, with it’s dogged determination to cripple and dismantle every one of our safety net programs in the name of deficit reduction!
It’s all enough to break your heart…or redouble your commitment to do everything you can to turn it around.
I’m betting on all of you Democratic Women to join us and fight on.
Here’s a few things we can do in the next 10 days to express our anger and fight for what we believe in.
Medicaid Expansion is still at the top of our agenda. Governor McCrory has not yet publicly signed Senate Bill 4 – the legislation that says North Carolina will not participate in Medicaid Expansion. More and more Republican governors have realized that saying no to this program just doesn’t make sense – on any grounds – especially in the first 3 years when 100% of costs are covered. How can we turn down more than $15 Billion in federal dollars that will fund more than 20,000 jobs in health-related fields by providing health care for over 500,000 low income North Carolina adults and their families?
Please send another card and place another call to Governor McCrory urging him to sign on to Medicaid Expansion. If you want some new ideas on what to say, just look at Chapter 3 of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine report Examining the Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on North Carolina. The Chapter concludes:
In summary, a decision to participate in Medicaid expansion as put forth in the PPACA would provide insurance coverage to approximately 500,000 North Carolinians; most of whom would remain uninsured without the expansion. Providing health insurance coverage will help people gain access to the care they need, which can help improve health outcomes. The gross service costs to the state would be $840.9 million and the new administrative costs would be $116.3 million between SFY 2014-2021. However, these new costs would be offset by pharmaceutical rebates ($60.9 million), redirecting existing state appropriations for other programs ($464.9 million), and the new tax revenues likely to be generated as a result of the increase in state domestic product from the infusion of $14.8 billion in new federal dollars ($496.9 million). Because of the high federal match rate, the offsets, and the new tax revenues, the state will actually experience a net savings of $65.4 million from the Medicaid expansion over the eight year time period (SFY 2014-2021). On a yearly basis, the state is expected to save a high of $124.2 million in SFY 2016. Beginning in SFY 2018, North Carolina will be required to contribute towards the costs of services to the newly eligibles. By, SFY 2021, the net new expenditure will be approximately $118.7 million. The REMI analysis also projected that the Medicaid expansion would create about 25,000 new jobs by 2016 and about 18,000 sustained jobs (by 2021). The new federal funds would also help generate an additional $1.3-$1.7 billion in state domestic product per year.
Can anyone reasonable say no?
Once again the address to write to is:
Governor Pat McCrory
Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
Or call the Governor at: 919-733-5811
Tell him too say yes for the first three years, when it’s free. Then – if it’s not working in North Carolina’s best interests, he can discontinue the program. Nothing to pay back. It’s easy. Just say yes!
Wednesday, March 13. Help us turn the tide in the General Assembly too.
Join a Durham Democratic Women phonebank on Wednesday March 13, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM at Beth Silberman’s house, 2212 W Club Blvd.
We’ll call Democrats in districts with Republican representatives who have voted against Medicaid Expansion and encourage them to weigh in with their representatives. Bring your cell phone, laptop if you have one, and something to eat. RSVP to email@example.com
Saturday, March 16. Yes we can turn NC blue again. Join Democratic women from Chatham, Franklin, Granville, Lee, Orange, Person, Vance, Wake and Warren Counties at the North Carolina Democratic Women Region 7 Annual Meeting. We’ll hear from Beth Wood, State Auditor, and strategize about what we can do together to turn NC blue. 10:00 AM- 12:00 noon at Pomodoro’s Restaurant, 1811 Hillandale Rd in Durham (entrance off Front St, at I-85). Stay for lunch too! RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, March 17. Want to help stop fracking in North Carolina? Chatham County Democratic Women have invited us to join us for a meeting “where we will have a thorough look at this environmental disaster in the making,” including comments by Elaine Chiosso, Haw River Association, and a discussion of S76, which lifts the moratorium on fracking. 3:00 PM at the Chatham Public Library off NC 87 in Pittsboro. https://maps.google.com/maps?client=safari&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&q=chatham+county+public+library+pittsboro+nc&fb=1&gl=us&hq=chatham+county+public+library+pittsboro+nc&cid=0,0,15784033508726099566&ei=W94zUbzJKoGK9QTevIDIAQ&ved=0CDYQrwswAA
For more information contact Bonnie Bechard at email@example.com
Wednesday, March 20. Have you seen Planned Parenthood’s great new Not in HER shoes campaign? That’s all of us. Join Democratic Women of North Carolina, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Pro-Choice North Carolina, North Carolina NOW, and other organizations for a Nor in HER Shoes Rally and Day of Action at 12:00 Noon at Halifax Mall just behind the General Assembly in Raleigh. Let’s make sure our voices are heard.
More actions to come.
We will be heard and together we will make a difference.
Sondra G. Stein
Durham Democratic Womenwww.durhamdemwomen.org
– Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.