Conservatives Rage Against NC House Republicans Handcuffing State Treasurer Folwell Transparency Reforms

RALEIGH – Conservative elected officials and activists are crying foul at Republican actions in the N.C. House aimed at tying the hands of Republican State Treasurer to save taxpayer money when it comes to funding the State Health Plan. The standing committee on Health in the N.C. House of Representatives took up House Bill 184 Tuesday, a bill that would put the brakes on Folwell’s efforts to reform the pricing regime afforded the State Health Plan, bring transparency to those prices paid, ultimately, by taxpayers, and save taxpayers hundreds of million of dollars in the process.

The bill would institute a study committee, effectively freezing Folwell’s reforms while the committee studies proposals to reform pricing structures. The study period extends to December of 2020, taking the issue out of Folwell’s hands until after his re-election bid in November of next year.

Grassroots activists traveled to Raleigh Tuesday to encourage the committee, chaired by Rep. Greg Murphy (R-Pitt), to vote down the bill and allow Folwell to continue pursuing tax savings for North Carolinians. However, only two members on the committee, Rep. Phil Shepherd (R-Onslow) and Rep. Michael Wray (D-Gaston) voted against the measure. Murphy is a candidate in the Third Congressional District Special Election, making the conservative ire he earned today of potentially significant consequence in that race.

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Former State House Member Beverly Boswell, too, was incensed at the committee’s willingness to bow down to special interest groups rather than exhibit deference to taxpayers and elected officials that have been doing yeoman’s work to protect them.

The NC State Employees Association, too, was clearly opposed to this bill, for reasons they outline below.

You might remember that the GOP Third District Executive Committee, the district Rep. Greg Murphy is running for Congress in, passed a resolution earlier this month supporting Treasurer Folwell and urging NC lawmakers to back off their attempts to handcuff his reform efforts.

So, considering the stern opposition to this bill from grassroots to official GOP officials in Eastern NC, Rep. Murphy’s leadership role in bringing the bill up for an ultimately successful vote in the House Health Committee doesn’t seem to bode well for his campaign.

The bill will now head to the insurance committee before possibly coming up for a floor vote in the NC House.

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