North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has issued a couple of executive orders this week that I’m sure he thinks will win him back some support.
Unfortunately, it’s far too little and way, way too late.
On Monday, he announced a limited “expansion” of Medicaid services, which would add people with autism, plus increase funding for substance abuse treatment.
He proposed increasing access to Naloxone, which reverses opioid and heroin overdoses, saying he wants to save lives.
Big deal, Governor. There’s still the prickly issue of that half million people with no access to health care, and up to 2,800 of them are estimated to die every year, or up to seven people every single day. Can you tell us why you don’t care about saving those lives?
The governor also said he has met with President Obama about a Medicaid waiver, which would let the state expand Medicaid with its own rules. Those rules would require Medicaid recipients to work to get coverage, and the president rejected that.
Now, the president doesn’t have the power to reject the provision on his own, but he certainly knows what would pass muster with the Center for Medicaid Services, and a work requirement won’t fly.
Thing is, most poor people do work. Many have more than one low-wage job and still live below the poverty level. Many can’t find full-time work because so many companies have stopped hiring full-time employees so they don’t have to offer health benefits. That’s why Medicaid expansion is so important.
The people who are dying are hard working. They’re not lazy, they’re not morally inferior, they’re just poor, and a big part of that is because the GOP has refused to increase the minimum wage to a living wage, which it was meant to be when it was enacted under Franklin Roosevelt.
That brings us to Hate Bill 2.
On Tuesday, the governor issued a video statement announcing he would seek to repeal a portion of the law, which was passed in a single day in a special session, and signed by him as soon as he could get it to his desk.
“I will immediately seek legislation in the upcoming short session to reinstate the right to sue for discrimination in North Carolina state courts,” he said.
But that doesn’t fix the power grab that denies towns and counties the ability to set their own minimum wage, among other things, and it leaves transgender people with no safe place to pee, and still doesn’t protect LGBT people or veterans.
They passed this abomination knowing there would be backlash, and I’m willing to bet they decided before it ever passed which parts of it they would be willing to sacrifice if things got too heated.
Sorry, Governor, but you won’t win back a whole lot of support with these feeble moves, and the lost business and the lost respect won’t be won back, either. You have made this once proud state a laughingstock, and you’re going home in November.