Civitas to Grade Vote on State Health Plan Study – HB184

House Bill 184, Study State Health Plan Design, is legislation that derails the reform process of the State Health Plan and adds up to a billion in unnecessary financial liabilities.

The legislation has two sections. The first section of the bill authorizes the Joint Legislative Study Committee on the Sustainability of the North Carolina State Health Plan to consider how the plan can be restructured to promote long-term financial health. Certainly, reform is needed: If it continues its current path, the State Health Plan will be unable to pay its debts as soon as 2023, only four years away. This insolvency would be catastrophic to the state budget.

Section Two of the bill prevents the Treasurer and the Board of Trustees for the State Health Plan from making any changes to the provider network or reimbursement rate fee schedule until December 31, 2020. This prohibition extends 8 months after the study is concluded, and a full two years into the four-year timeline for the plan’s financial ruin.

State Treasurer Dale Folwell has announced his intentions to restructure reimbursement rates for the Plan to save hundreds of millions of dollars annually. This bill would block any reforms until 2021, when there may be a new Treasurer.

To add to the sentiment that Section 2 is merely a political hit on the office of the State Treasurer, Section 1 of the bill stipulates that the State Treasurer would be a non-voting member of the Joint Legislative Study Committee on the Sustainability of the North Carolina State Health Plan. In other words, the State Treasurer cannot implement his current proposal for the State Health Plan and cannot vote for or against a future proposal in the study committee.

The actuarial note for the bill estimates that the prohibition on changes will add an additional $1 billion to the state’s $33 billion unfunded liability. Therefore, in addition to delaying a solution to the problem, the bill would add to the state’s liability, and cost by half a billion over the next three years.

Elected by the citizens of North Carolina, the State Treasurer should be allowed to explore solutions to current problems with the State Health Plan, consistent with his statutory and constitutional authority. Instead, HB 184 gives power to a study committee that primarily consists of special interest groups with monied interests in maintaining a lucrative State Health Plan at the expense of taxpayers – namely the North Carolina Healthcare Association (formerly the North Carolina Hospital Association).

The State Health Plan, as currently structured is unsustainable. Years of inaction cannot be rectified through continued inaction. The General Assembly may wish to study an issue on which it may desire to take future action. It is fiscally irresponsible, however, to waste two years with no corrective action when there are only four years until the State Health Plan is fiscally insolvent.

As long as the reform process is derailed, and corrective actions are prohibited by HB184, the vote to defend freedom is no.

Civitas Action intends to grade any vote to regarding HB 184 in the House or Senate.

Civitas to Grade Vote on Repeal NC Map Act – HB131

House Bill 131 would repeal the Transportation Corridor Official Map Act. The Map Act, as the statute is commonly known, prohibits an owner of property located within a designated corridor map from making any changes to their property. A corridor map outlines area designated for possible future highway construction. Some landowners have been prevented from making alterations or additions to their property for years due to the restrictions of the Map Act. Such restrictions can also adversely impact property values.

Civitas Action believes the protection of private property rights is vital to civil society, and that the Map Act constitutes an unjust infringement upon the property rights of individuals.

Civitas Action believes private property rights are a fundamental freedom all Americans should enjoy and believes a vote for freedom is a vote to repeal the Map Act.

Civitas Action intends to grade any vote to repeal the Map Act in the House or Senate.

Civitas to Grade Vote to Provide Local Schools and Parents More Input in How Instructional Materials are Selected – HB315

HB 315 declares local boards of education have the sole authority for selecting and obtaining supplemental instructional materials. The legislation requires local boards of education to develop written procedures for obtaining materials.

In addition, the legislation requires that when making changes to a health and safety program, local boards of education will be required to provide electronic and written notice to all parents of students regarding the opportunity to review those materials.

Finally, the legislation also provides that the board of education establish a community media advisory committee to investigate and evaluate challenges from parents, teachers or members of the public to determine whether materials are unfit for use.

Civitas believes our public schools serve children, parents and all citizens. Our schools work best when there is transparency, when parents have a strong voice in how our schools are administered and when authority to make decisions regarding how children are educated is more localized.

HB 315 supports these values and gives parents and local schools the freedom and authority to ensure our schools are using appropriate instructional materials.

Civitas Action believes a vote for HB 315 is a vote for freedom.

Civitas Action intends to grade any vote to regarding HB 315 in the House or Senate.

Civitas Action is a 501(c)(4) non-profit that educates and informs North Carolinians on policy issues and the actions of their elected officials.