Coastal Congressional District Resolves to Back Up State Treasurer Folwell in Fight for Healthcare Pricing Transparency

WASHINGTON, NC – Republican State Treasurer Dale Folwell is all about taking care of business, and saving taxpayers money. In his role as state treasurer that means renegotiating investment management fees for the state pension funds, streamlining services and eliminating needless bureaucratic redundancies, and getting the most transparent pricing for taxpayer-funded members of the gargantuan State Health Plan.

On the latter initiative, Folwell has ruffled enough feathers to earn the ire of Big Hospital lobbying interests on Jones Street. At their behest, a bill has been filed to block Folwell’s ability to make those pricing transparency reforms. However, a lot of grassroots support is backing Folwell as he works to get the best deal for taxpayers, and whole congressional districts are making it known.

Executive Committee Members of the North Carolina Third Congressional District Republican Party met last month, and by a unanimous vote, adopted a resolution supporting Folwell’s clear pricing project to increase transparency and reduce costs​ for the State Health Plan.

“Resolution Supporting Treasurer Folwell
WHEREAS, North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell is working hard for the taxpayers fulfilling his Constitutional duty to safeguard solvency of State programs by his efforts to investigate the $35 Billion shortfall in the State Health Plan to identify needed reforms; and
WHEREAS, Treasurer Folwell’s efforts to bring solvency to the State Health Plan will benefit the taxpayers of North Carolina, as well as the State employees and retirees who use the State Health Plan; and
WHEREAS, certain special interests are seeking legislation to stop Treasurer Folwell in his efforts to reform and make the State Health Plan solvent.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Executive Committee of the Third Congressional District Republican Party commends Treasurer Folwell for his efforts to protect the taxpayers and State employees by making the State Health Plan solvent; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call upon all legislators from our region to back Treasurer Folwell in his efforts and to defeat any legislation from the special interests that would delay or halt those efforts.
Adopted this 2nd day of February, 2019.
                   Carl Mischka, Chairman
                   N.C. 3rd Congressional District GOP 
                  Cecilia R. Wasserman, Secretary
                  N.C. 3rd Congressional District GOP

WHEREAS, the North Carolina State Health Plan spends more than $3.4 billion annually providing health care coverage to the approximately 727,000 teachers, state employees, retirees, and their dependents; and
WHEREAS, in 2008, expenses were roughly $2.2 billion, thus, medical and pharmaceutical costs are increasing five to nine percent annually and current spending projections estimate that the Plan will be insolvent by 2023 unless action is taken; and
WHEREAS, the North Carolina General Assembly has vested the State Treasurer, the Executive Director and the Board of Trustees for the State Health Plan with certain responsibilities to provide and administer the health plans to Plan Members; and
WHEREAS, on October 4, 2018, Treasurer Folwell announced that the State Health Plan will launch a new medical reimbursement strategy for North Carolina providers that care for Plan members; and
WHEREAS, effect January 1, 2020, the State Health Plan will move towards a payment model based on publicly available Medicare rates, thus, amid at keep rising health care costs under control while promoting quality care, transparency and affordability; and
WHEREAS, the initiative seeks lower medical costs, saving $258 million for taxpayers and more than $57 million for teachers, state employees and other public servants; and
WHEREAS, on November 28, 2018, a report released by the Pew Charitable Trustsconfirms that the State’s unfunded retirement/health care costs as a share of personal income are one of the worst in the country, right behind Illinois; and
WHEREAS, after the release of the Pew report Treasurer Folwell stated “this new report underscores our immediate need to get medical and pharmaceutical costs for the State Health Plan under control. Every man, woman and child in the state would have to pay almost $3,200 each to cover our current promises of health care for state and local government retirees. We’re having to act because others haven’t”; and
WHEREAS, a campaign against lower health care costs is largely funded by special interests, notably the North Carolina Healthcare Association (NCHA), with Vidant Health of Greenville taking the lead; and
WHEREAS, part of the campaign against clear pricing and lowering costs could be paid using taxpayers’ dollars since the State’s hospital, UNC Health Care, is a member of NCHA paying thousands of dollars a year in dues to the organization.”
The legislation to block Folwell is coming before a key healthcare committee in the N.C. House next week. We’ll be paying attention to see if those on Jones Street are taking notice of the significant blow back likely to come from a heavy-handed power play to stop one of state government’s most able and accomplished taxpayer champions.
Stay tuned.

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