Under the Dome

Dome: Television ad in NC questions new health care law

Staff writersSeptember 5, 2013 

Americans for Prosperity is spending more than $60,000 in North Carolina to run a television ad that questions the new health care law.

The ad features the mother of a young girl who has had four open heart surgeries. She worries that the law will restrict the freedom of patients to keep their doctors.

The group plans to spend $41,375 on WSOC and $20,050 at WBTV, according to Political Moneyline. Both stations operate in the Charlotte market. The AFP is running the ads in Tampa, Fla., Cleveland, Ohio, and Washington, D.C.

“The average North Carolinian feels very strongly about their freedom to choose their own personal doctor,” said Chris Farr, state director of AFP in North Carolina. “For those citizens who have a serious illness affecting their loved ones, the freedom to choose a doctor becomes even more crucial. Obamacare threatens that freedom, and people are not going to sit by and quietly accept this impact on their lives.”

Americans for Prosperity is a nonprofit organization that was founded by David and Charles Koch.

According to healthcare.gov, the insurance plans offered under the new health care law will have networks of doctors, hospitals and the like and, depending on the type of policy you buy, your care may be covered only if you get it from a provider in the network. Each plan will include its list of providers. The site notes: If keeping your current doctors is important to you, make sure they’re in the plan you choose.

Bad for the image

North Carolina’s national image has slipped with all the negative publicity surrounding its sharp turn to the political right, according to new survey.

Two years ago, North Carolina was regarded among the 10 most popular states in the country, with 40 percent of voters rating it favorably and only 11 percent having a negative opinion, according to Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning firm in Raleigh.

But a new national poll by the firm has found that the state’s favorable rating has dropped to 30 percent, while those viewing it unfavorably has gone from 11 percent to 23 percent.

The state’s national image has been particularly damaged among African Americans who had a 42-8 percent favorable/unfavorable rating and now hold a 19-30 percent favorable/unfavorable rating, and among Hispanics, who had viewed it positively 50-9 percent and now view it 20-39 percent favorable/unfavorable.

There has also been a drop off among women, who went from a 32 percent net favorability rating to a net 3 percent rating.

The survey of 803 registered voters between Aug. 26-28 had a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

McCrory promises Medicaid changes

Speaking at the Cary Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet Wednesday evening, Gov. Pat McCrory promised “controversial” proposals to change the state’s Medicaid system. Overruns in Medicaid costs are a huge burden on the state and have drained funding for education, he said.

Citing issues with federal regulations, “a lack of waivers from the feds, and frankly, some of the politics within Raleigh here,” McCrory said he wanted to change the state’s implementation of the federal health program for people with low income.

“I’m going to have to bring up some fairly controversial proposals to change Medicaid, or we’re going to continue to have some very, very serious issues here in North Carolina,” McCrory told the crowd. “That’s coming in the next three, four months. I’ll probably introduce them while the legislature’s out of town, between now and May,” he said, drawing laughs. Changes to Medicaid, he said are “the way we’re going to get raises to the teachers.”

Skepticism on Syria grows

Rep. George Holding said Thursday that he is more skeptical about U.S. military involvement in Syria after hearing testimony from Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

“After classified briefings and hearing directly from Secretaries Kerry and Hagel yesterday in the Foreign Affairs Committee, I am more skeptical than ever about President Obama’s plan to bomb Syria,” the Raleigh Republican said in a statement. “For Secretary Kerry to say an attack on Syria – which when you get right down to it amounts to an act of war – is a limited strike, and then add we ‘are not fighting to win,’ doesn’t make a bit of sense.

“What we heard today from the administration was purely and simply an exercise in minimizing and understating risks – and nothing I heard convinced me it is necessary to send one American soldier into battle.”

Staff writers Rob Christensen, Andrew Kenney and Mary Cornatzer

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