john locke foundation

Pope puppet professor may run for NC Treasurer

Frequent JLF mouthpiece Mike Walden itching to get his hands on the purse strings:

Mike Walden, an economist at N.C. State University, confirmed he is thinking about entering the race, which was thrown open by Democratic incumbent Janet Cowell’s surprise announcement Tuesday that she will not seek re-election. Walden is a frequent writer and commentator on North Carolina’s economy and policies. He holds a master’s and doctorate from Cornell University.

“I am thinking about possibly throwing my hat in the ring,” Walden wrote. “I have some ideas for modifying the investment portfolio to increase transparency and reduce management fees.”

Of course, the N&O fails to mention any connection between the perfessor and the Pope, but we're used to that here at BlueNC and will continue to point these things out when they happen.

They screwed with the wrong guy

IN the wake of the legislature's misguided shut-down of the Poverty Center at UNC, Gene Nichol has pushed back hard. Not only is his work alive and well, it is now more well-funded, more visible, and more protected from political interference than it has ever been. Plus, Gene isn't taking any crap from Art Pope's minions at the John Locke Foundation:

Propaganda in the pages: The bizarro world of JLF

Logic so twisted not even they can unravel it:

The fatal flaw in this methodology, however, is that in order to “draw down” federal Medicaid dollars, actual medical services need to be provided to Medicaid patients. It is only when doctors actually treat Medicaid patients that the federal government pays those providers for the services.

As reported recently by WRAL, “A survey this year by The Physicians Foundation found that 81 percent of doctors describe themselves as either over-extended or at full capacity, and 44 percent said they planned to cut back on the number of patients they see, retire, work part-time or close their practice to new patients.” Such extreme supply constraints tells us that if North Carolina were to expand Medicaid, the newly enrolled would have great difficulty actually seeing a doctor. Coverage will not equal access.

News flash, Einstein: A large percentage of those yet-to-be-enrolled are already seeking care, but only after their condition has become life-threatening. And while a physician might be required to trigger a Medicaid payment, the vast majority of the care rendered is done so by physicians assistants and nurses. Also, a big reason for the shortage in primary care physicians in rural/urban areas is because patients don't have insurance and cannot pay the bills. Expanding Medicaid coverage would make those areas if not profitable, at least not as unprofitable as they have been.

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