Archive for the ‘News’ Category

 ANNOUNCEMENT 

 Raleigh, N.C.  Today December 2, 2019 is opening day for filing for the NC House of Representatives. I am announcing that I will not seek re-election for District 118 serving Haywood, Madison and Yancey Counties. By the end of 2020 I will have served 8 years driving to Raleigh early Monday morning and returning late Thursday evening while in session. “It’s time to refocus on family and other opportunities that the Lord leads.”   It has been an honor and privilege to serve all the people in my district and the great state of North Carolina. 
 Rep. Michele D. Presnell
Duke University Health Policy Expert: The Case Against Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina
Article knocks down arguments about Medicaid expansion that Democrats continue to use today
Raleigh, N.C. – Earlier this week, Democrats continued their efforts to expand Medicaid in North Carolina, holding a hearing on the topic at the legislature. In light of that renewed push, it’s worth revisiting an article published in the North Carolina Medical Journal in 2017. Christopher Conover, a Research Scholar in the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research at Duke University, outlined a number of reasons why Medicaid Expansion is not a good idea for North Carolina that directly rebut some of the benefits being touted by Democrats. .
1) Medicaid Expansion Will Reduce Access for Existing Medicaid RecipientsConover explains that due to Medicaid’s low reimbursement rates, many Medicaid enrollees already have difficulty locating a provider, an issue that expanding Medicaid would only exacerbate:
” A model developed by the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed that, in the year 2020 alone, Medicaid expansion would increase the unmet demand for physician services by over 25%. In the context of this physician shortage, it makes little sense on ethical or clinical grounds to divert care away from existing Medicaid beneficiaries, who are among our most vulnerable populations—elderly individuals, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, infants, and children. “
2) Medicaid Expansion is Unlikely to Save LivesConover points out that there is no concrete evidence to back up the argument that expanding Medicaid will save lives:
“The best available evidence regarding Medicaid’s actual impact on health and mortality risk comes from the Oregon Health Study, which is as close to a randomized controlled trial as we might ever get on this question. In that study, Medicaid ‘generated no significant improvement in measured physical health outcomes,’ nor did it result in a statistically significant reduction in mortality risk.”
3) Medicaid Expansion is Unaffordable in the Long RunConover makes the point that it is extremely unlikely the federal government will continue to fund Medicaid expansion at the current levels, especially considering the fact that enrollment levels and the cost of expansion have been much higher than predicted:
The most recent annual report on Medicaid’s finances issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) showed that the average cost of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion enrollees was nearly 50% higher in FY 2015 than HHS had projected just 1 year previously. Additionally, enrollment exceeded projections in states that elected to expand Medicaid by 110% nationally, and this problem has been much more severe in some states. Expansion enrollment exceeded projections by 322% in California, by 276% in New York, and by 134% in Kentucky. “
4) Medicaid Expansion will Eliminate More Jobs than it CreatesClaims that expanding Medicaid will bring thousands of new health care jobs to North Carolina is one of the benefits of expansion that supporters continue to mention, but Conover points out that these jobs come at a cost:
“The RAND Corporation has shown that every new job added to the health care sector results in 0.85 fewer jobs in the rest of the economy. Even worse is that every $1 raised in taxes shrinks the economy by 44 cents. This implies we would lose 144 jobs for every 100 health sector–related jobs that might be induced by expansion. In the end, then, Medicaid expansion is not merely a break-even proposition that shifts jobs from the general economy into the health sector: it actually reduces total employment in the economy overall.”

Our booth at the Madison County Fair had and awesome response and even more surprisingly the Madison County democrats were M.I.A.

We are having a great response and selling raffle tickets for a brand new Ruger .308 ($5 each or 5 tickets for $20). We will draw a winner in time for Christmas!!

PRESS RELEASE  

President Pro Tempore

Senator Phil Berger

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Senator Berger Press

August 21, 2019
Legislative Leaders Announce $250 Taxpayer Refund

Berger, Moore: N.C. taxpayers sent us too much money, so we’re giving it back

The people spend their money better than government spends their money
Raleigh, N.C. – Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) today announced the Taxpayer Refund Act. If passed into law, every taxpayer would receive a refund in the amount they paid in state taxes, up to a maximum of $125 for an individual or $250 for a couple.

Senator Berger said, “Tax revenues don’t belong to the government, they belong to the people who earned it. Refunding up to $250 means a lot to a family that’s living paycheck-to-paycheck. We collected more money than was needed, so we’re giving it back.”

Speaker Moore said, “Sending taxpayer relief back home to hardworking North Carolinians is consistent with the General Assembly’s successful approach to the state budget that built the $900 million surplus and benefits families with higher take-home pay, more jobs, and a rapidly growing economy.”

Andy Ellen, President of the N.C. Retail Merchants Association, said, “An infusion of $650 million into North Carolina’s economy would certainly be a welcome shot in the arm for North Carolina’s Retail Industry especially as we head into the fourth quarter of the year and the very important holiday season.”

Fast Facts:

Cost: There is no “cost” because this bill is returning money to the people who earned it. In that sense, the refund will return $663 million to the people.

Recipients: More than 5.1 million taxpayers would receive a refund. More than 90 percent of taxpayers would receive the maximum refund. More than 350,000 taxpayers would have their entire tax liability covered by the refund.

Mechanism : The North Carolina Department of Revenue will send a check to every taxpayer equal to the amount that person or couple paid in state taxes, up to $125 for an individual or $250 for a couple.

Timeline: The Taxpayer Refund Act instructs the Department of Revenue to issue checks as soon as possible. The Department must mail checks by December 15, 2019 for those who filed before August 1, 2019. The Department must mail checks by February 1, 2020 for those who filed between August 1, 2019 and October 1, 2019.

Impact on the Budget: There is funding available to both refund the surplus to taxpayers and enact a new budget at higher spending levels.

Legislators continue to be willing to negotiate with Governor Cooper about the budget, but he maintains his refusal to sign any negotiated budget into law unless the legislature first passes Medicaid expansion. Instead of sitting on a pile of cash, legislators intend to return this money back to the people who earned it.

Liberal Democratic interest groups will likely say the people’s surplus should be spent by government. Here’s a brief list of priorities that were already included in the budget that Governor Cooper vetoed, and could be passed into law if Governor Cooper would drop his Medicaid-or-nothing ultimatum:

Public education: $1.43 billion increase over two yearsSchool construction and repairs: $4.4 billion over 10 yearsTeacher salaries: 3.9% raise over two years (not including bonuses)State employee salaries: 5% raise over two yearsSewer/water infrastructure: $19.5 million to a brand new Rural Infrastructure Fund

Senator Harry Brown (R-Onslow) said, “The idea that this surplus should be spent on other priorities is just ridiculous. There are already spending increases in just about every area, and Democrats are blocking them over a single policy disagreement.”
PRESS RELEASE
North Carolina General Assembly
Senator Ralph Hise
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Susan Fanning
August 7, 2019
Sen. Hise Issues Statement in Response to Governor Cooper’s
Appointment to State Board of Elections
Raleigh, N.C. – Earlier today Governor Roy Cooper appointed Damon Circosta to the State Board of Elections as a Democrat. Circosta previously served as the unaffiliated member on a previous iteration of the board. Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s appointment:“Governor Cooper isn’t even pretending that he cares about good government. By appointing Damon Circosta to the Board today as the tie-breaking Democrat, he’s admitting that his previous appointment of Circosta as an ‘unaffiliated’ member was a sham. “Instead of injecting stability to the Board by appointing somebody all parties respect, Governor Cooper yet again chose power politics over legitimacy and fairness. “If this is Cooper’s idea of an independent body, just imagine what a cesspool an independent redistricting committee would turn into. To paraphrase the Governor’s own statement from last year, ‘it’s unbelievable to watch Democrats try to rig the rules of a system they’ve already gamed.’”