NC GOP has put DHHS in the crosshairs

And Secretary Mandy Cohen has had quite enough:

Cohen has spent a lot of time at the legislative building in Raleigh this week, working the halls and talking to budget writers about her qualms with the budget. She’s also been making media appearances to reiterate her priorities and concerns.

Cohen also sharply criticized the legislature for cutting out $42 million in recurring administrative funds over the coming two years. Additionally, she said that as the budget stands right now, the Medicaid budget is $63 million short. “It’s dramatic. It’s irresponsible,” she said. “It’s not like we’re trying to manage some really trying times. No one has given me an answer in this building about why are we doing this cut? We’re not in a recession. Why are they doing it this year… other than to play games?” Cohen said.

There are a couple of obvious reasons, and they both have to do with Medicaid Expansion. Cohen has been pushing them hard for it, and has the data to back up her arguments. That makes her the "enemy" in the eyes of irresponsible and capricious Republicans, so whatever levers they can pull to exert pressure on her are being pulled with a vengeance. But there's also something else: Using the excuse of a procedure change (switching to managed care), they're cutting her staff, which will make it much more difficult to handle Medicaid Expansion if it did get approved. And that will become one more reason for them to not approve it. Create a crisis, and then lament said crisis. Standard operating procedure. Dr. Cohen also has a completely unnecessary and disruptive move looming:

Monday News: Theocracy

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DAN FOREST WANTS TO PREACH HIS WAY INTO GOVERNOR'S MANSION: In his speech, Forest encouraged the congregation to get involved in politics. He suggested that the Bible predicted the current political polarization and that God would “heal” the country if Christians prayed for forgiveness. He compared current culture to 2 Timothy Chapter 3 of the Bible which, in the New International Version translation, says “There will be terrible times in the last days.” He offered his assessment of multiculturalism shortly after mentioning Satan’s intentions to divide the country. And then he outlined his hope for the nation. If “Christians will humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways and get on our knees and ask a loving and forgiving God to forgive us, he promises to heal our land. And he promises that he’ll give us a better land,” Forest said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232077907.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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SPEAKER MOORE'S OPPOSITION TO MEDICAID EXPANSION IS PREJUDICED FANTASY: To take Moore’s word for it, people who can’t afford health care are dodging work and looking for a free ride. First, the poor who earn below the poverty level and cannot or do not work ALREADY qualify for Medicaid. Second, Nearly all of the North Carolinians who would qualify for Medicaid under expansion DO HAVE JOBS. Many work hard at more than one. It is just that the jobs are so low paying, these families barely earn above the poverty level. Still, they earn too much to qualify for the current program. These are people live day-to-day at the edge of a financial cliff. These families are just one missed paycheck, or serious health event, away from economic calamity. They are Moore’s neighbors – more than 6,000 in Cleveland County. They are Senate leader Phil Berger’s neighbors too. There are 16,300 in the four counties he represents.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-speaker-moore-s-opposition-to-medicaid-expansion-is-prejudiced-fantas...

Saturday News: Misplaced priorities

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GOVERNOR COOPER VETOES GOP STATE BUDGET: One day after state lawmakers approved a $24 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts next week, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the plan Friday. "This budget, as written, doesn't move us forward," Cooper said at an Executive Mansion news conference as he was surrounded by dozens of Democratic lawmakers and others. "I want to sign a budget that will move us forward." Republicans lost their veto-proof majorities in both the House and the Senate last fall, and although a handful of Democrats in both chambers voted for the bill, Republicans would have to pull at least four more House Democrats over to their side to override the veto. House Minority Leader Darren Jackson said Democratic lawmakers are united behind Cooper and will sustain his veto in a potential override attempt. Sens. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, Ben Clark, D-Hoke, and Don Davis, D-Pitt, who all voted for the budget this week, were at the news conference.
https://www.wral.com/cooper-vetoes-state-budget-calling-it-an-astonishing-failure/18479819/

Holmes v. Moore challenge to Voter ID Amendment being argued today

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Currently in front of a 3-judge panel, but destined for the NC Supreme Court:

Specifically, the lawsuit argues that the law violates multiple provisions of the state constitution by: 1) purposefully discriminating against and disproportionately impacting African American and American Indian voters; 2) unduly burdening the fundamental right to vote; 3) creating separate classes of voters, treated differently with respect to their access to the fundamental right to vote; 4) imposing a cost on voting; 5) imposing a property requirement for voting; and 6) impeding voters’ ability to engage in political expression and speech by casting a ballot.

Here's the full complaint (sorry, can't copy & paste), and a few Tweets from NC Policy Watch's intrepid court reporter Melissa Boughton:

Friday News: Logical fallacies

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REPUBLICANS SAY COURT DECISION IS VICTORY FOR VOTERS (WHO ARE BEING MARGINALIZED): When it comes to drawing maps, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan said legislators are more easily held accountable than judges. “We want elected representatives who are accountable to the people making decisions on district lines, not unelected bureaucrats,” the Ohio Republican said. U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, a North Carolina Republican, suggested the gerrymandering complaint was part of disingenuous “sue till blue” strategy by Democrats. The Supreme Court ruling, which overturned a lower court’s decision, “is a rebuke of the activist judges who attempt to make laws, win elections and suppress the voices of voters from the bench.” N.C. Rep. David Lewis, a Republican from Harnett County, called the ruling “a complete vindication of our state and of the fair and open process that we ran.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232017482.html

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