Carolina Journal Weekly Report

September 21, 2012

Carolina Journal Weekly Report
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For the week of September 21, 2012 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — North Carolina could save $2.7 billion a year by moving away from its primary-care focused Medicaid structure reports Carolina Journal and adopting a managed-care model used in five large Florida counties, based on research by the Foundation for Government Accountability.

“I think the Florida success story is one of the great untold tales of health care in America,” said Christie Herrera, vice president of policy at the Naples, Fla.-based foundation. “Today, those five counties are saving the state of Florida $118 million a year.”

Backers of the risk-based managed care model used in Florida say it forces medical providers rather than taxpayers to absorb any losses if the costs of care exceed the amounts agreed on in state contracts. Moreover, the Florida model allows Medicaid recipients to choose among a variety or providers and plans, rather than granting most Medicaid care management to a state-sanctioned monopoly, Community Cares of North Carolina.

The foundation projected what other states would save if Florida’s pilot project were applied to their Medicaid programs, Herrera said.

“What we found was, in North Carolina, $2.7 billion in savings if North Carolina implemented Florida’s reform,” Herrera said. Of that, $1.3 billion would be saved annually in the disabled population, and $1.4 billion from the Medicaid-eligible population, she said. For the state budget year ended June 30, North Carolina’s Medicaid spending was $14.2 billion.

News Features

CJ: Climate for school choice improving
RALEIGH — A new political climate in the state capital could result in a number of school choice reforms enacted into law next year, a panel of legislators said Tuesday during a luncheon on school choice.

CJ: 10th congressional district race highlights contrasts
RALEIGH — The only thing the two candidates for North Carolina’s District 10 congressional seat agree on is that their opponent is an extremist who will move the country in the wrong direction.

CJ: Goodwin, Causey say experience matters in insurance commissioner race
RALEIGH — The incumbent and the challenger in the election for state insurance commissioner share a number of policy positions. Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, a Democrat, and Mike Causey, a Republican, agree that the state needs to find more insurers willing to underwrite property near the coast.

CJ: Lawson and Tine vie in N.C. House 6
RALEIGH — Legislative redistricting in 2011 created a new state House District 6 that left an incumbent from each major party running to serve the same district. Rep. Tim Spear, D-Washington, opted to retire, and Rep. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, chose to run for state Senate District 1.

CJ: Barringer and Portman vie in Senate District 17
RALEIGH — Jobs and education are the top issues in the campaign to succeed retiring five-term Republican Sen. Richard Stevens for state Senate District 17, which covers southwestern Wake County. The race pits Republican attorney Tamara Barringer against Democratic Wake County Commissioner Erv Portman in this Republican-leaning district.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.
A Headliner Luncheon
with our special guest Dr. Charles Murray
Coming Apart at the Seams: America's New Cultural Divide

John Locke Foundation Carolina Journal Online
The Locker Room Carolina Journal Radio

Capital Quotes

The state is on an up escalator and a down escalator simultaneously.
Ferrel Guillory, director of UNC Chapel Hill’s Program on Public Life, describing North Carolina’s economy to the Raleigh News & Observer.

I don’t know whether the candidates, either one of them, really appreciate the differences in message that they ought to do in Charlotte versus in Raleigh and versus in the eastern part of the state.
— UNC-Charlotte economist John Connaughton, talking to the Associated Press about the need for presidential candidates to tailor their message to North Carolina’s different regions.

This is as much a federal issue as maintaining our military or managing our money supply.
Larry Wooten, president of the North Carolina Farm Bureau, talking to the Charlotte Observer about the need for Congress to tackle immigration reform. Wooten that many North Carolina farms are having problems finding enough workers.

The fight is far from over; the fight is just beginning.
Elizabeth Ouzts, director of Environment North Carolina, commenting to the Raleigh News & Observer on the debate on whether to allow fracking in the state.

Read more here:

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
Carolina Journal’s Jon Ham analyzes media coverage of the political conventions; Charlie Cook  of the Cook Political Report & David  Gergen of Harvard’s Kennedy School discuss N.C.’s role in the election; N.C.HHS attorney Emery Milliken explains the end of a lawsuit over mental health services; Billie Redmond of Job Creators Alliance offers strategy for creating jobs; JLF’s Terry Stoops provides an update on new charter schools & the choice movement.

NC Spin

This week on NC Spin…
Join moderator Tom Campbell for another week of political discussion and debate on the most intelligent television talk show in the state. Topics this week: Higher education in our state, both at the university and community college levels. This week’s panelists: Peter Hans, chair of the UNC Board of Governors; Scott Ralls, president of the NC Community Colleges; Steve Ballard, chancellor of East Carolina University; and Mary Rittling, President of Davidson County Community College.


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