Under the Dome

Dome: Rep. Dollar less guarded in email on McCrory's Medicaid plan

Staff writersApril 8, 2013 

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Representative Nelson Dollar poses a question during the joint legislative committee on workers' compensation insurance and fraud prevention at Legislative Office Building Wednesday, November 28, 2012.

TAKAAKI IWABU — tiwabu@newsobserver.com

State Rep. Nelson Dollar responded carefully last week when asked about Gov. Pat McCrory’s plan to open the state’s Medicaid business to management by private companies. (“We need more details” – that kind of thing.)

The Cary Republican was less guarded in an email responding to a column by John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation. Hood praised McCrory’s move.

Dollar has been a big supporter of Community Care North Carolina, a home-grown Medicaid managed care network run by doctors. CCNC would not continue in its current form if McCrory’s plan is approved.

“Read John’s piece and there continues to be misconceptions as to the role of CCNC as well as the nature of the problems we’ve addressed the last two years,” Dollar wrote.

“More important other states with co-called ‘competitive contracts’ are having just as many challenges as everyone else. We have the foundation to do something truly innovative I hope we don’t opt for the failures and traps of commercial managed care.”

Dollar is a chairman of the House budget committee, a job he held last year.

Marches against GOP agenda

Expect a crowd Tuesday at the N.C. General Assembly. The N.C. chapter of the NAACP is holding a lobbying day, promising to mobilize huge numbers to counter what it says is an extreme Republican agenda.

The Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) coalition will start with an event at First Baptist church in downtown Raleigh at 9 a.m. “We are petitioning our government for redress of grievances,” the Rev. William J. Barber said in a statement. “With people who are being directly penalized and punished by the extreme ideological agenda being promoted on Jones Street, we will peaceably, and with grace, demand they stop their attacks on the most vulnerable North Carolinians.”

The event coincides with N.C. Women United’s legislative advocacy day. The group expects 85 to 100 supporters from across the state to flood the legislative buildings and push for “proactive measures that prioritize the needs of women and their families in North Carolina.” Kim Gandy, the leader of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, will serve as a keynote speaker at a 9:15 a.m. rally.

Group opposes taxing parents

People for the American Way, a liberal advocacy group, opposes a bill that would erect financial hurdles to families of college students when the kids vote in the cities and towns where they attend school.

Senate Bill 667 would prevent parents from claiming their children as tax exemptions if their children are registered to vote at an address other than their parents’ address. Voting addresses would have to match vehicle registration addresses.

In a letter to bill sponsors, Sens. Bill Cook, Norman Sanderson, and Ronald Rabin, PFAW said the bill “puts the rights of North Carolinians under attack.”

“Youth and student voters who move frequently already have to navigate a confusing patchwork of voting laws. Those choosing to reregister while living and learning at institutions of higher education should not face a tax penalty for participating in our democracy, nor should their parents.”

Changes at DHHS

Ricky Diaz is the new communications director for the state Department of Health and Human Services. He was Gov. Pat McCrory’s deputy communications director and was press secretary for McCrory’s campaign.

Sherry Bradsher, former director of the department’s social services division, was promoted to deputy secretary. Bradsher had been acting deputy secretary for long term care and family services since February. She is one of the leaders behind NC FAST, the new software for people using food stamps that is eventually supposed to include other services such as Medicaid, Special Assistance and Child Services.

Staff writers John Frank and Lynn Bonner

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