Friday, March 3, 2023

Caring About Carolina

With dozens of rural hospitals closing in the wake of COVID-19, North Carolina Republicans are realizing that dead constituents have a difficult time voting GOP and and now finally working with state Democrats and Gov. Roy Cooper to expand Medicaid in the state after resisting it for more than a decade.

The top leaders in North Carolina’s legislature reached an agreement that is expected to expand Medicaid coverage. The momentous deal, announced Thursday, is the culmination of more than a decade of political wrangling and a Republican change of heart.

The deal will allow North Carolina, at no cost to state government, to give health insurance to hundreds of thousands of the state’s working poor. The federal government will pay for 90% of the cost, and the rest will be covered by a new tax on hospitals and insurance companies.

House Speaker Tim Moore said that factor — as well as the fact that the federal government will also pay North Carolina $1.8 billion extra if expansion passes — was a big motivating factor for GOP leaders like him to change their minds and support Medicaid expansion, after spending over a decade fighting against it.

“I mean, it’s staggering numbers,” Moore said.

Democrats have pushed for expansion for years. The state had around 900,000 uninsured residents in 2021 — nearly one in every 10 people — and expanding Medicaid would allow most of those people to have health insurance.

But Republicans fought it, in part because of its association with former Democratic President Barack Obama — Medicaid expansion only exists because of Obamacare — but also because of fears that Republicans in Congress would repeal Obamacare, leaving states on the hook for the extra costs of expansion. After national Republicans failed to repeal Obamacare under President Donald Trump, despite controlling both Congress and the White House, it put local GOP leaders more at ease about the future of the program.

Another major factor that caused GOP lawmakers to change their minds in 2022: The 2021 stimulus package, signed into law by Democratic President Joe Biden, that offered signing bonuses to states that expanded Medicaid — in North Carolina’s case, the $1.8 billion that Moore mentioned.

Biden reacted happily to Berger and Moore’s announcement Thursday. “This is what I’m talking about,” Biden said in a statement, adding for national context: “That'll be 40 states who've expanded. 10 more to go.”

We'll see if any other states sign on this year. I doubt it, however. Texas, Florida and Georgia are the big ones, as are the rest of the Southeast, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Wyoming.  Hell, even South Dakota has gotten on board.

Maybe red states should be taking care of their residents rather than wasting time with anti-trans bills and fascist, unconstitutional bullshit, but that's just me speaking.

Even Kentucky figured this out, folks.

Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

If a Black or Muslim person detonated seven pipe bombs over the course of the last three months and destroyed six vehicles and a mailbox, FOX would have been screaming about ANTIFA TERRORISTS IN OUR MIDST for weeks.  But if multiple white suspects were brought in with white supremacist Nazi stuff and meth all over their hideout apartment, well you won't hear a peep.
A man with a large collection of Nazi and white supremacist regalia has been arrested in connection with a string of pipe bombings around Fresno, California.

Police say that Scott Anderson, 44, was responsible for seven pipe bombings in total since Dec. 13. Six of the devices were placed under vehicles (one of which was a county probation vehicle) and the seventh explosion involved a mailbox.

Though no one was injured in the bombings, the devices were becoming more sophisticated over time, Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said in a press conference Wednesday.

“It became apparent very quickly that the suspect, or suspects, in this case were progressing in skill level of making bombs, and also their frequency,” Balderrama said.

Anderson is currently facing two sets of charges, federal and state. Four of Anderson’s alleged associates—Paul New, Amanda Sanders, Frank Rocha, and Steven Burkett—are also facing an array of state charges, including possession of bomb making materials, selling methamphetamine, and owning guns despite prior felony convictions. 
And when I say Nazi and meth paraphernalia were "all over" the apartment, I mean all over it.
"Nazis Bomb Fresno In Months-Long Terror Campaign" is not something I expected to type but there you are. 

We're at the point where we should regularly be expecting stuff like this in 2023, and it's only going to get worse.
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