The quickest and simplest way to close the health care coverage gap for 500,000 North Carolinians is through Medicaid expansion. That’s why I sponsored HB 5, which would do just that on the first day of session.
Unfortunately, no Republicans chose to co-sponsor HB 5. I am pleased though, to report that this week four of my Republican colleagues introduced their plan, HB 655, to provide more North Carolinians access to affordable health insurance. Stay tuned.
|HB 655 will extend health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians, but it will NOT cover as many as HB 5 would have. The bill has work requirements and premium co-pays that make it harder for people to use their insurance. And when these folks don’t have coverage or don’t use their coverage – their health suffers and we all pay for it.|
We have delayed Medicaid expansion for years now. These delays have cost North Carolina countless lives and billions of dollars. The Republican leadership has refused to hold a hearing on the Medicaid expansion bill. Now that there are Republicans publicly supporting a proposal to close the coverage gap maybe we will see legislative movement to make health care better in North Carolina.
In new environment, Republicans pitch Medicaid expansion Associated Press
Don’t call it Medicaid expansion: House Republicans offer low-income health plan WRAL
GOP Medicaid bill takes a massive step in the wrong directionProgressive Pulse
Column by Patrick Woodie of NC Rural Center: The human (and economic) imperative to close health-care gap Wilmington Star-News
Governor Roy Cooper Proclaims April 2019 Alcohol Awareness MonthTo raise awareness of the risks underage drinking poses to young people in North Carolina and across the country, Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed April 2019 as Alcohol Awareness Month.
“Underage drinking jeopardizes young people’s health and safety and puts lives at risk,” Gov. Cooper said. “It’s important that people know the dangers of alcohol and that families talk honestly and directly about underage drinking.”According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, underage drinking can cause problems in school, changes in brain development and increased risk of suicide. Underage drinking remains a serious problem in North Carolina. In a 2015 survey of middle and high school students in North Carolina, 94 percent of respondents said underage drinking is a problem among their friends and classmates.
The NC Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission launched the Talk It Out NCcampaign in 2014. Talk It Out NC encourages parents and teens to stop underage drinking by pledging to maintain open lines of communication, create honest dialog about peer pressure, acknowledge the negative physical effects of alcohol on young brains and discuss the consequences of driving drunk.Visit talkitout.org to get the conversation started.
Eight More North Carolina Museums Offering Reduced or Free Admission for Low-Income FamiliesEight museums in North Carolina have been added to the list of attractions offering free or reduced admission to families that receive benefits from the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) program. The project started in 2017 at the state’s aquariums as a joint initiative between the North Carolina Departments of Natural and Cultural Resources and Health and Human Services.The new participants in North Carolina are part of the Museums for All program which offers admission of $3 or less for up to four people per Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT, card with a valid form of photo identification. There is no limit to how many times a family can visit a participating museum. The program encourages people of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits. Besides the aquariums at Roanoke Island, Pine Knoll Shores and Fort Fisher, the new attractions participating in North Carolina are listed below.
· The Children’s Playhouse in Boone· Blowing Rock Art & History Museum· Discovery Place KIDS in Huntersville· Discovery Place in Charlotte· Discovery Place Nature in Charlotte· Kaleideum North in Winston-Salem· Kaleideum Downtown in Winston-Salem· Discovery Place KIDS in Rockingham
N.C. Forest Service Urges Residents to Think Safety in Spring Wildfire Season
The N.C. Forest Service is urging North Carolina residents to think safety and exercise extra caution when burning materials during the spring fire season. The spring fire season typically runs from March through May, and is historically the time when wildfires are most likely to occur.The N.C. Forest Service encourages anyone considering debris burning to contact his or her local county forest ranger. The forest ranger can offer technical advice and explain the best options to help maximize safety to people, property and the forest. For people who choose to burn debris, the N.C. Forest Service urges them to adhere to the following tips to protect property and prevent wildfires:· Make sure you have an approved burning permit, which can be obtained at any N.C. Forest Service office, a county-approved burning permit agent, or online at http://ncforestservice.gov.
|· Check with your county fire marshal’s office for local laws on burning debris.· Check the weather. Don’t burn if conditions are dry or windy.|
· Consider alternatives to burning. Some yard debris such as leaves and grass may be more valuable if composted.
· Only burn natural vegetation from your property. Burning household trash or any other man-made materials is illegal.
· Plan burning for the late afternoon when conditions are typically less windy and more humid.
· If you must burn, be prepared. Use a shovel or hoe to clear a perimeter down to mineral soil of at least 10-feet, preferably more, around the area around where you plan to burn.
· Keep fire tools ready. To control the fire, you will need a water hose, bucket, a steel rake and a shovel for tossing dirt on the fire.
· Never use flammable liquids such as kerosene, gasoline or diesel fuel to speed debris burning.
· Stay with your fire until it is completely out. Remember, debris burning is the No. 1 cause of wildfires in the state.
These tips hold true for campfires and barbecues as well. Douse burning charcoal briquettes or campfires thoroughly with water. When soaked; stir the coals and soak them again. Be sure they are out cold and carefully feel to be sure they are extinguished. Never dump hot ashes or coals into a wooded area.
|I have heard from many of you on the issues this week. I am grateful for your comments, support and advocacy. Thank you for your continued interest in state government. I hope you will contact me if I can be of help. |
Keep in touch,