by Brenée Goforth
Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
On Monday, October 7, 2019, JLF’s Becki Gray published a letter from N.C. Senator Donald G. Davis, D-Pitt to Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen. The blog and letter prompted a story in the News and Observer. Colin Campbell, the reporter of the story, writes:
Sen. Don Davis, D-Pitt, sent a letter this week to Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, seeking assurances that the Medicaid system can handle the additional people that would be added under expansion. Davis references comments from State Auditor Beth Wood during a recent radio interview.
Davis’ letter was first reported on a blog post by conservative John Locke Foundation senior vice president Becki Gray, who labeled the post “Is this letter to DHHS Secretary the break in the budget stalemate?” Davis confirmed the letter’s authenticity Tuesday and said he’d like to have the information from DHHS as he considers the budget and Medicaid issues. He’d previously told Carolina Public Press last month that he plans to vote against overriding Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget veto.
In Cohen’s response to Davis, Campbell writes:
Cohen notes that many of Wood’s comments reference an audit of rate-setting practices used between 2013 and 2016 for Medicaid mental health services.
“She speaks to older issues that have been and continue to be addressed by the Department and incorrectly infers that issues raised in the audit would impact the transition to managed care for physical health services,” she wrote.
Campbell writes that Wood claimed there are three more audits coming out in the next 90 days. In them, Wood states:
[W]hat you’re gonna see here are agency heads both elected and cabinet secretaries that are just blatantly breaking state policies, state rules, and think nothing of it.”