Calling bullshit on Queen Aldona

Kudos to NC Policy Watch and Ned Barnett for destroying the bullshit story circulating that Queen Aldona miraculously "fixed" Medicaid and can now accept billions in federal funds. The Policy Watch headline says it all: Medicaid was not “broken” and McCrory and Wos haven’t “fixed” it.

And Ned Barnett's story is even more on the mark.

“It’s good news that the governor is now open to doing the right thing about Medicaid expansion. Even Tillis now says he might favor it. Refusing to do it could cost the state $51 billion in lost federal money over the next decade, according to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

But this change of position shouldn’t pass without a look at the rationale for not doing it in the first place. Wos’ reign at DHHS has been marked by massive provider payment problems, an exodus of staff, plummeting morale and expensive consultants hired to fill in the gaps. Now she’s saying that the administration of Medicaid has been fixed and it’s ready to take on a half-million new recipients.

If that turnaround is true, Wos has accomplished an amazing feat of introducing efficiency and accountability. Yet there’s nothing to suggest that is the case. DHHS under Wos remains an agency riddled by vacancies and burdened by a reputation for administrative dysfunction that has discouraged top applicants. But the Medicaid program itself was never “broken”. It has operated in North Carolina for decades and in recent years has successfully held down administrative costs compared with the national average. Medicaid’s “out-of-control costs,” which Republican legislators say busted the state budget, reflect wishful budgeting. Simply putting a number in the budget won’t hold down costs. People need treatment, and when there’s a recession Medicaid rolls grow. With the economy now improving, Medicaid costs are coming in under budget.”



This ridiculous storyline

was evident from Day 1 of Prevaricating Pat's administration.

He'll be taking credit for "fixing" lots of other stuff that wasn't broken (but which he broke), and then claiming that because of these "fixes", we now have opportunities to do good things (such as expand Medicaid).

Watch for:

  • We "fixed" the budget so now we can pay teachers more!
  • We "fixed" the regulatory mess, so now we can create jobs!
  • We "fixed" the university system, so now we have trained industry drones to fill all those new jobs!
  • We "fixed" Common Core, so now we can give our students a good education!
  • We "fixed" the oven in the Governor's mansion, so now we can bake more cookies!
  • We "fixed" our dog Moe, so now he won't have puppies!

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014


Especially that last one.

Maybe he "fixed" himself too. The last thing we need is more Pats in the gene pool.

I suspect whatever modest

I suspect whatever modest 'savings' may appear, will allow Vos to retire claiming victory. Her replacement will be left to expand Medicaid. Hopefully, the replacement will have a temperament that is better suited to management and won't drive away the best of the staff.