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Carolina Journal Radio No. 876: Cooper makes unusual claim about business taxes

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
March 2, 2020 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 876: Cooper makes unusual claim about business taxes

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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March 2, 2020 8:00 am

Gov. Roy Cooper emerged from a recent meeting with business executives and proclaimed that none of them had asked for a tax cut. Cooper used that fact to bolster his opposition to reducing business taxation. The problem for Cooper is that every company cited in his comments about the meeting has taken advantage of targeted state tax breaks. Those targeted incentives top $91 million. Jon Sanders, John Locke Foundation director of regulatory studies, analyzes the governor’s skewed view of business tax policy. The N.C. Coalition for Charter Schools has named Lindalyn Kakadelis as its new executive director. Kakadelis explains how her years of experience in both traditional public education and the school choice movement will help the coalition pursue its goals. The group seeks full public funding for charter schools and a reduction of the schools’ regulatory burden. The latest coronavirus has wreaked havoc, especially in China. State lawmakers recently heard an update on how N.C. health officials are preparing for possible problems related to the virus in this state. You’ll her highlights from that discussion. A new center slated to open this spring will help N.C. military veterans transition back to civilian life. John Turner, founder and senior adviser of the Veterans Life Center of North Carolina, explains the valuable role the center will play for vets returning from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other combat zones. A recent federal Medicaid ruling ends the prospects of tying Medicaid expansion to work requirements. Jordan Roberts, John Locke Foundation health care policy analyst, discusses the implications of that court ruling for North Carolina’s Medicaid expansion debate. Roberts also discusses alternatives to government-based health care reforms, including his recent campaign to help retire medical debt for low-income residents of North Carolina and South Carolina.

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From chair to current and the largest city to the smallest and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues work at the Carolina Journal radio what Michiko guy during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state. One of North Carolina's leading school choice groups has a new leader to hear from her shall explain why she's pushing for more funding and less regulation of North Carolina's public charter schools. The coronavirus is generated plenty of scary headlines in recent weeks to learn how North Carolina is preparing for possible problems here a new center slated to open this spring will help military veterans as they transition back to civilian life. You learn how it will discuss the impacts for North Carolina of a recent court ruling. It blocks Medicaid work requirements.

What could that mean for North Carolina's ongoing debate over Medicaid expansion. Those topics are just ahead. But first, Donna Martinez joins us and she has the Carolina Journal headline news reporting about a recent meeting of business leaders and Gov. Roy Cooper notes that the governor said that he didn't hear any of those business leaders asked for a lower corporate tax rate, something that legislative Republicans had included in their 2019 budget by John Sanders, who is the John Locke foundation's director of regulatory study says that could be a reason that those corporate executives weren't asking for a tax cut. John joins us now to talk about that.

Welcome back to the program based on what caught your eye about the reporting on this story because instantly you thought they something's amiss here. Close reading down the names of the executives there. The corporations are listed in, I knew they were all corporations that were getting huge grants from the state of North Carolina. From Cooper's administration tell us a little bit more about that they were getting corporate incentive grants so I went through the numbers of Honeywell was listed.

They got 42.3 million, approved December 2018 avid exchange got 19.6 million approved. Also, in December 2018. Allstate got approved $17.8 million. In August 2017 lending tree got 8.4 million approved in December 2018 and then a Ernst & Young which is another one there got $3.2 million approved in 2018. February help us understand now what they were approved for and what it means to the state budget and to taxpayers like these are job development investment grants which are 12 your grants to support job creation. So basically that the governor goes in the Commerce Department goes in recruits these companies to either expand or move to North Carolina with the promise of lots and lots of money and if they meet job creation goals or whatever then they can.

The commerce and the governor can claim credit for the job creation, and these guys can claim a whole lot of money in the of the sum total. At that table and the meeting was $91.5 million and tell your conclusion was your really shocked that those folks did say hey governor Cooper we would like a reduction in the corporate tax rate you if you got nearly hundred million dollars of of corporate welfare being handed to you know you're probably not thinking we need a tax cut. John tell us about the accountability that one would hope is built into those grants because you are talking about a sizable about of money where essentially one business is chosen as somehow to be a winner in terms of finances over their competitors and other businesses in the state to talk about accountability in this whole rationale of why we would even do this will be accountability. There is some built-in in their clawback provision. So if the promise job creation or investment doesn't take place and they won't get some of the grant money that they been promised.

The VRML has done some reporting in recent years. Looking at these programs going back for the last eight years and they found that a sizable proportion over 1/3 of them don't even created single job so that money doesn't end up 1/4 accruing to those companies because of the but on a larger scale. It is the governor picking winners and losers. It is saying you know we value your jobs more than we value jobs from other companies, including companies that are established North Carolina small mom-and-pop shops.

Those that could actually use corporate tax rate on cut and the corporate tax cut that he's talking about the one that was in the budget last year is something called the franchise tax, which is sort of like a double tax on corporate corporations. It's not the corporate income tax. It's a tax on corporate wealth. So whether or not the corporation is doing any good.

There still basically having to pay this tax. It's a very obsolete tax only about 14 other states. I think have one maybe 16 other states have it, but very few states have this thing so John, if I were a business executive and I'm out time creating jobs, selling products and services as serving the community trying to grow my business and I find that there are a select few other businesses who are essentially getting the state to put their the states thumb on the financial scale in favor of my competitor would not be squawking about that if they've got the time to me that's the other thing about entrepreneurs is especially smaller shop owners. They gotta take to business. The got to tender their own business concerns. They don't have time to be pulling on the governor's ear are going to the Gen. assembly in squawking they got things they gotta do what bothered me about this is, and it is not as if these corporate executives that were getting the grants went to the governor said don't cut taxes.

They just didn't mention taxes at all. The governor then turned around and use that sort of dog not barking in the night of them. Not mentioning tax increases and set our tax cuts and then saying oh well, they're not saying it.

So we honestly don't need. In fact, the implication seems to be that the Republicans who had proposed that trying to help businesses with some sort of tax reform were off the mark because here were the very people sitting in the room and they didn't even bother to bring it up right so John do other states do this kind of thing one that's one of the other rationales that administrations use for these incentives is will.

If we don't do it. Other states will but economic research finds that they are not. They are very rarely the deciding factor in the corporate operation shifting headquarters.

Whatever these things are business decisions are made for a host of reasons of very little bit of which would be access to state incentives, there might be some folks to think well enough. You want to be pro-business and you want to make sure that North Carolina continues to thrive and that people want to create more jobs open up businesses, etc. you got to do a little bit of this kind of wheeling and dealing with that may be the governor's view or his staff is Commerce Department's view, what would you say to them if you had the governor right here talking with him.

I think what I would do is use with the governor said back in small business week when he went out of town and what a great place. North Carolina is redoing businesses and one of the things that he put in his press release about what makes us great to do business is having of having the lowest corporate income tax rate among all the states that have corporate into income tax rates.

So when he's trying to persuade in a different way. He mentions effectively got a low tax environment.

So what is it that actually comes first successful entrepreneurship and and businesses to grow. It's a host of things. This is a lot of its natural things. It's government is not getting in the way it's so low regulations, low taxes of skilled skilled workforce access to two airports and in good transportation options and you describe North Carolina ally Lowe's LA so many things which, as you said the governor has has touted before it was very fascinating because you pointed out and John that really not a lot of media, if any, picked up on this issue of of what happened in that meeting and the governor saying that well. These business leaders didn't even bring up the issue of taxes. Again, I would say how would you describe it to someone. What is the essence of what occurred there in the irony of it was the irony of it is is pretending that these corporations that are getting all this money don't need anything else. Still needing more help from the state and then acting as if they speak for all of the other businesses and corporations in this day was a fascinating piece that you wrote about this available@johnlocke.org in a discussion about time taxes and business leaders in a meeting held with Gov. Roy Cooper, John Sanders, thank you very much for this much more Carolina journal radio to come in just a moment tired of fake names tired of reporters with political axes to grind. What you need to be reading Carolina journal, honest, uncompromising, old-school journalism, you expect and you need even better, the monthly Carolina journal is free to subscribers sign up@carolinajournal.com you'll receive Carolina journal newspaper in your mailbox each month. Investigations into government spending revelations about boondoggles who the powerful leaders are and what they're doing in your name and with your money. We shine a light on it all with the stories and angles.

Other outlets barely cover but there's a bonus print newspaper is published monthly by our daily news site gives you the latest news each and every day lot onto Carolina journal.com once, twice, even three times a day.

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It's fresh news if you'd like a heads up on the daily news sign up for our daily email do that Carolina journal.com Carolina journal rigorous unrelenting old-school journalism.

We hold government accountable for you. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I Michiko got one of our state's leading school choice organizations has undue leader and she joins us now to talk about her role. Linda Lynn CAC analysis taken the job as executive director of the North Carolina coalition for charter schools congratulations think you really talk a little bit about your background coming into this, but first of all North Carolina coalition for charter schools. What is its role in the whole school choice movement. Okay, we are a C6 organization which means that every gun of our money goes to advocacy work.

We have two main missions number one support for full funding for charter schools. Many people don't realize that a charter school student receives about 73% three cents on the dollar that a district student would receive selling really big difference and also charter operators have to pay for operating funds added dining facility. The buildings and entrance ramps operating budget so there's a real diskette disparity in funding South. That's our number one mission is to try to get fair just funding for charter school students and in the second point is where seeing regulatory creep all the time on charter schools and we want to start that charter schools need to be innovative. This is an advocacy organization, to stop those two things, and as a reminder. Charter schools are public schools so that it is an apples to apples comparison about how much money goes to a traditional district, school, versus how much goes to charter schools are all public schools exactly they each one has to answer to the state Board of Education have to take the same exams.

The curriculum can be different. There's a little flexibility to the charter schools but the most the biggest part of accountability is the parent.

The family makes the decision to go to a charter school and making cross county lines to go to the needy folks have misconceived ideas about charter schools speak to families all the time.

Some of them think their private schools and have to pay to elation is now now now now now these are options for a free family and state know you are new to this role as executive director of the North Carolina coalition for charter schools which were not new to education in North Carolina either the school choice movement or the traditional public schools to listen to a little bit about your background and how this could help you in this new role. Okay well first moms a classroom teacher and then back in the 90s I decided to run for school board and ranting. Charlotte Mecklenburg served two terms on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education while serving there had a really unique role of managing $3 million of private scholarship money for opportunity for scholarships in the areas private money that time no one knew about Opera.

There was no opportunity scholarships, but worked with that scholarship organization also was on the board of the charter school while still being on the Charlotte Mecklenburg board. I made a real statement as far as I wanted families to make choices and I wanted all education providers to be quality now serving those multiple roles did you see some of the things the charters could do the traditional district schools would not be able to do exit how the time on time manage the charter schools were able to respond quickly to family needs they didn't have to try to be 11 one-size-fits-all day they could meet needs of gifted students. They could meet needs of students that wanted to count in the curriculum in math and science or even arts said I could specialize in those fields well in your district schools there trying to be all things to all people in all locations and my guess is that the folks that you work with in the Charlotte Mecklenburg schools were evil.

They were allowed to do bad things. The justice system didn't work well for everyone that's exactly right. There are great people, and every educational provider and and what were trying to do is empower families to find the right match for their child. We're speaking with Linda Lynn CAC at Ellis. She is the new Executive Director of the North Carolina coalition for charter schools. You mentioned the two main things that the group is so working on. What are some of the ways that you're trying to build interest and knowledge about this funding gap well when working with our government relations team on the floor at the Gen. assembly. Many of the members don't realize the discrepancy we had back in the late 2000's. That was what they call the Hackney amendment that came through late one night that took away some of the funding for charter schools, and so will be working at looking at ways of repealing management and then just educating the general public on the values of charter schools that Hamlet charter schools are saving counties millions of dollars with facilities because the counties don't have to pass months to build the facilities for charter schools. So any coupon there working with the Gen. assembly also doing a messaging campaign across the state. You also mentioned as another goal fight against the regulatory creep.

Why is it so important that charter schools not have more regulations piled on them year after year, when I think they're going to be any different than your district schools. They will have the same regulation same curriculum same pacing guides, etc., etc., and the innovation of charter schools will be limited. One of the other things we've seen in recent years is ever since the Gen. assembly lifted that On charter schools. There's been a major growth in charter schools that led to some positives and negatives of mixed bag, going from slightly less than 100 schools to now almost double that of what we have learned from that is, it takes charter schools a couple years to get at their pace to stay really see that there exceeding growth and for people to learn how to run schools so it takes a little while for them to get where they want to be.

The longer the charter schools been open, the better we see the academic performance which would make sense and make sense of right now we are at about 100 in a little over 116,000 students across the state with almost 200 charter schools naming my parents and in many stakeholders and do not realize the fragile nature of political fragile nature of charter schools and the freedom we have. You mentioned that fragile nature.

I would suspect that one of the things that you're doing is talking to lawmakers who were supporters and those who are opponents and those who are lukewarm about charter schools just reminding them what valuable role they play exactly I don't want to have to say that K-12 education is political but K-12 education is political Charlotte elections have consequences, and so will be doing in a candidate survey asking candidates their views on charter schools and in letting the public know what the candidates are saying in the brief time that we have left.

What is your sense of the future for charter schools is looked bright.

We on a good path or are there some some tough obstacles and roadblocks we need to get past well right now. Charter schools is it's been so exciting to see the academic performance of charter schools into subgroups, especially your black and Hispanic subgroups in elementary, middle and high school and what was seen as the longer the students are in the schools near their academic performance as insular seen these gaps in performance story clubs and that's very exciting. One group that is going to be focusing on the truth about charter schools is the North Carolina coalition for charter schools. It's new Executive Director Linda Lynn CAC adults. Thanks so much for doing thinking more on Carolina journal radio just a moment. If you have freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups across North Carolina all in one place North Carolina conservative.com it's one stop shopping for North Carolina's freedom movement@northcarolinaconservative.com. You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina journal.com reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and let foundation analysts, opinion pieces and reports on higher education from the James G. Martin Center for academic renewal, commentary and polling data from the sabotage Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council.

That's right, all in one place North Carolina conservative.com that's North Carolina spelled out conservative.com North Carolina conservative.com. Try it today.

North Carolina is changing not just day-to-day but outward to our minute to minute and 2nd to 2nd, how can you keep up with the changes, especially the ones that affect you, your family, your home, your job, make the John lot foundation and Carolina journal part of your social media diet on Facebook like the John Locke foundation like Carolina. Journal follow us on twitter at John lock in the sea and at Carolina journal news, insights and analysis you'll find nowhere else. Thanks to the experts at the John Locke foundation and thanks to the first-class investigative reporting of Carolina journal.

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Have you covered with up to the second information like us on Facebook the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke NC and at Carolina journal. Who knew you could shop and invest in freedom at the same time it is true online shopping is now a great way to support the John Locke foundation just shop using the Amazon smile program and designate the John Mott foundation to receive a portion of your purchase amount that's right you shop Amazon donates money to pass the John Locke foundation Curaao log on to smile.amazon.com Amazon smile is the same Amazon you know same products same prices. But here's what's better design donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon smile purchases to the John Locke foundation to try it. Be sure to designate us as the nonprofit you want to support. It's that easy. So now not only will you enjoy what you buy. You also support freedom. Don't forget log on to smile.amazon.com today, something nice and help defend freedom, help support the John Mott foundation will go back Carolina journal radio why Michiko got coronavirus has been causing concerns around the globe, including North Carolina state lawmakers recently heard an update on the topic from State epidemiologist Zach Moore Sen. Ralph Heisler to know what happens next with this virus that is killed so many people mainly in China of saying reports about past diagnosis murder after your old media reports of my nobody given some of its sources and others reporting have we done any forecasting you see where we expect the bars transmission to get what we would deal with. We know (a lot of uncertainties so we need to acknowledge that we could end up with widespread transmission North Carolina and across the country. We could end up with the situation more like sorrows were able to contain it, and not end up, but I think it's, you know, certainly our plan to be prepared for a situation of widespread transmission so that were not caught off guard. If that does happen. We certainly hope that all the efforts that are being put into containing which means rapidly identifying potential cases, isolating them, testing them track their contacts. We hope that that will happen.

Impacts, and at least delay the timing might have widespread transmission so we can be better prepared, but we do need to be prepared for that possibility.

That's how were approaching. It was not enough to ease Heisler's concerns.

It's a general responsiveness user forecasts are, morons were looking for what we expect the infection well I guess the short answer is yes there are a lot of different models and people looking at what might happen, but they are all over the map clearly state representative Donnie Lamberth wonders how similar coronavirus is to other illnesses that strike North Carolina and other states and countries every year is similar to the fluid in the it has a seasonal component and at some point you see it reach a peak and then it starts to begin to phase out and so as we get into the summer. It doesn't exist or have houses work. That's another important area of uncertainties, so that is definitely the case with most other coronavirus is that we've seen the ones that we have every year are very seasonal.

All costs of the cold murder switch is still going on in Saudi Arabia has seasonality to it. So we expect that this one might have a seasonality to it.

Also, it's hard to know you know if were able to keep it out put it off until warmer weather. How much of a benefit that will be. We we would hope it would be beneficial to art that's Zach Moore, State epidemiologist for North Carolina is responding to state lawmakers questions about the future of the well-publicized coronavirus term before Carolina journal radio in a moment where doubling down on freedom at Carolina journal radio were proud to bring you stories that impact your life and your wallet.

And now get twice as much freedom when you also listen to our podcast headlock available on iTunes and@johnlot.org/podcast headlock is a little bit different. It's a no holds barred discussion that challenges softheaded ideas from the left and the right light. Carolina journal radio headlock is smart and timely but with headlock you'll hear more about the culture wars get some more humor as well. We guarantee great information and a good time double down with us. Listen to Carolina journal radio each week and listen to headlock to remember, you can listen to headlock@johnlocke.org/podcast or subscriber download each week iTunes Carolina journal radio and headlock just what you need to stay informed and stay entertained both brought to you in the name of freedom by the John Locke foundation. Welcome back Carolina journal radio why Michiko God, since the 9/11 terrorist attacks 18 years ago. The United States is sent thousands of soldiers to combat zones. Many of the veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan face challenges that make it hard for them to return to civilian life and that's where our next guest steps. John Turner is founder and Senior advisor for the veterans life Center of North Carolina. Thanks for joining us will thank you much for providing. First of all working to get into what the veterans life sitter is, but to remind us when soldiers observed overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan or other places where they'd seen combat and have to come back to the United States and try to reenter civilian life. What are some of the challenges they face. To be honest about 14,000 veterans really backing from active duty service to be a civilian North Carolina. Your informing 90% of them do it pretty seamlessly pretty successful so really talking about 1400 veterans a year that have some challenges under the formula for that to have supplemental health which could be TBI. Which of the physiological injury that you can't physically see traumatic brain and noting brain injury yesterday, which could be physiological or could be dramatic. There are two ways are to be rep or other injury after mentally having accepted when their coming home.

That leaves them to drink and have a family that could lead to the family breaking apart one of the veteran does the is not able to find or hold and maintain a job to really submit to going to crisis.

Crisis consist of suicide premature guff, homelessness or incarceration and these are folks who have been fighting to protect us and protect our way of life. So it's not something you should just ignore or say what's not a big deal. There was an incident in Moore County, 2010 2011. Veterans would attempt deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for barred came back got out and separated from his wife have become homeless and was and was drinking the actually put a worn out because he was squatting in the house and the unpaid child support and the sheriff deputy went out to serve that warrant the sheriff. He was killed in the veteran committed suicide that undertakes all the losing your family not having a job, place to live being scared. Not understanding the policeman was sure he was there helping led him to not only filament deputy blossoms often think about the tragic that's a deputy one home of his family, his kids were nominative, child support, this kids lost their father for the rest of your life that might if there would've been a place in a facility where he could've gone to got maturely needed to get give him some family reintegration or termination to figure out how to prepare him to be a father again to be a husband again to have a job and maintaining hold that there could've been a great thing that the study was an employable tragedy to families the surest family and the veterans family and that leads right into Delta veterans life Center of North Carolina. Tell us what that is and how this fits into what helping these folks is like some of North Carolina is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is specifically for 21st-century veterans sure we go out and look for what letters were to bring in the center 24 1100 beds well before kitchen will have a case management staff throughout transportation veterans that are close to being veterans Moore County was in 2010 2011.

If you called someone that there was no facility like what we we are building to go to that but come May 2020. There will be a better selection.

So when someone sees a veteran that you mimic a call. We will the bed for them based off of genuine concern. If you come to the veterans lesser literature realized that everybody who works there is genuine concern for you will do a holistic approach to assessment assess whether mentally assess where they are physically suss where they are spiritually in the spiritual realm and religious but where is their attitude out and then left that affect the whole all their health and to create the plan for them.

Sit down and talk them but one of they want to accomplish with word or they want to be in five years you a lot of when they get to that level. Horses try to think about what is going to be in five days or five hours we talked about where you want to be in five years and then get on the case management to achieve that of the new mental health coordinator. If the VA did some financial planning defy what the veteran needs and deliver the one of our great partners as the vets Granville community College the South campus in Butler which is 2.3 miles from the facility in Butler and there they have mega Tronics that have radiography the HVAC variety of vocational training, someone who is borderline homeless, if not homeless in 18 months later we could've completed either a Associates degree or should certification it can we have a job that is about $50,000 a year which takes them from literally poverty to the middle class.

One of the amazing thing about what the center can offer.

We are chatting with John Turner who was founder and Senior advisor for the veterans life Center of North Carolina.

You just to mention a few moments ago, scheduled to open next spring, and in in the Butner area. How will the veterans who would most benefit from this. How will they be steered to your center working with the calling center in Fayetteville which does mental health cure for veterans working with the VA and numerous other nonprofit like stepup ministries for referrals. So our doors are not open the veteran to stomach a minute midnight, we are in Butler to the rural location and we were fortunate enough for the state police is 9.6 acres Roma a secure reservation through referral agencies who identify screen and bring those in not just the facilities for 21st-century veterans 24-bit to be for female 76 beds will be for mail you much know a couple of times that this is specifically geared toward the 21st-century veterans.

Why that group and not reaching out to the Vietnam era vets or others who are little bit older performer 21st-century better and I spent 16 months in Iraq and I realized we were people good labor lifestyle for each other over there. So why wouldn't we work hard and risk everything back here to do that. So this is really something that's near and dear to my heart and the guys that I serve with. They didn't have to rewash one with the volunteer been amazed by the outpouring of support from people North Carolina when I heard about this project. Make donations to the life Center because they volunteered to serve the people North Carolina through their donations and volunteered to build the Center for I will also imagine that that the 21st century veterans have some specific challenges that maybe older veterans do not because of the type of war because the type to the fact that they were all volunteers and the fact that there is a younger age you are dealing with other of old people health issues 21st century veterans are definitely different. Every generation of veterans bring more to the greatest generation and some of the amazing things that they did the population them was about 120 million, about 20 million people serve 1941 through 1948.

So when those men came home and I went and got a job in a factory. There were other veterans of the men of war to that they worked with and they talk to about 2.5 million to 3 million depending on which numbers you have served the been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan are superior to other places in the last 18 years. That's less than 1% of population there are often times the veteran will get out and go get a job will be the only veteran that works. That is the voice of John Turner. He is founder and Senior advisor for the veterans life Center of North Carolina set to open in the spring in the Butner area. Thanks so much for joining us. Thank you will love more on Carolina journal radio just really influence you either have it or you don't and at the John line foundation we have it, you'll find our guiding principles in many of the freedom forward reforms of the past decade here in North Carolina.

So while others talk or complain or name call.

We provide research solutions and hope our team analyzes the pressing issues of the day jobs, healthcare, education, and more. We look for effective ways to give you more freedom, more options, more control over your life. Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse, the envy of every other state. Our research is how policymakers make decisions that ensure you keep more of what you are. Expand your choice of schools for your kids. Widen your job opportunities improve your access to doctors.

The recipe for stability and a bright future for truth for freedom for the future of North Carolina. We are the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio Donna Martinez, a federal appeals court has struck down the state of Arkansas's requirement able-bodied adults who are receiving Medicaid in that state also have a job or be involved in some related activity. So the question now is what impact could that decision have on North Carolina and other states. Jordan Roberts is the healthcare policy analyst for the John Mark foundation. He's been taking a look at this very question enjoins us. Now Jordan, welcome back to the shell. What did the appeals court ruled with the peers with the appeals court says said was that Arkansas's decision to impose work requirements and the Sec. of Health and Human Services decision to allow that work requirement was counter to the objective of Medicaid and statutorily medicated says it's just a means to provide health coverage to people.

So by mandating that there be a work requirement or anything else I community engagement judge said that there was some capricious and arbitrary in his decision in the secretary's decision to allow this to go forward.

So basically, it's not what Medicaid was for is what the judge said someone is a working agent able-bodied but for some reason there on the Medicaid program. Is there any common sense reason that that person would not be out working more actively involved in job training, something like that. Well you know there's exemptions in the programs for people with disabilities are people who are taking care of children so these are the you know the you said able-bodied working adults in the idea is that if we can you encourage people to get get a job or will go out and seek employment or community engagement somewhere you know those leads to improved health outcomes. You know they may find a job that offers health insurance and so this is just a will you know no assorted knowledge to get people no more independent and off of government assistance and not by finding work. In fact, your description is is apps because we've heard that argument here in North Carolina and to make sure our listeners understand North Carolina has not expanded Medicaid under Obama care, but North Carolina, like the other states does have a Medicaid program that is some shared funding from the feds and the state of North Carolina.

So give us a sense of how our Medicaid program works.

We don't require people to work correct.

That's right, all right, but we have heard from some of the advocates for expanding Medicaid that well.

The only way that it would be acceptable across the political aisle would be perhaps to have a work requirement, but Jordan out of the appeals court has ruled that what does that mean well you know that means that the Republican alternative to Medicaid expansion, the Carolina cares for health care for working families act, which is essentially just Medicaid expansion with the work requirement means that Bill is essentially dead. Note states have been granted work requirements that have been challenging corporate they're not going forward with them because of the precedent set now by the DC circuit Court of Appeals so you know if North Carolina wanted to they could try to go forward. It would almost undoubtably be challenged in court and giving the sending or giving the ruling, some from the appeals court.

It doesn't seem like it's likely to hold up so you know, Medicaid expansion is still bad policy for North Carolina. Even with the work requirement.

We don't think we should do it here, but here for states that do have expanded Medicaid and would like, you know this work requirements to be in place for their able-bodied population receiving medicated this option is off the table now which made you go against their plans and their states, but it had a semi-fascinating to see what these other states do right now. I'm sure questioning all my gosh right we have this work requirement. What does this mean and is it fair to say Jordan that it in at least some of those states that have expanded Medicaid under Obama care. The reasoning and the selling point was well.

We will impose a work requirement, so there's kind of give-and-take so to speak with absolute great exchange for adding someone to the government program that they'll be out working right and you know through senior North Carolina Gov. Cooper was willing to go along with the Republicans Medicaid expansion program because you to achieve his goal of expanding Medicaid and you know a little concession to the Republicans. Here's a work requirement, but we knew all along that the governor didn't really support the plan. He was just going along with it and it's time to get Medicaid expansion North Carolina knowing that the courts eventually probably strike it down so as it stands now, Medicaid expansion, North Carolina with or without her work requirement doesn't seem like it has a power forward, you know I'm there.

Maybe some of our listeners. Jordan who are thinking my gosh this Jordan Roberts guy you know he has no compassion. He saying no or not can add 5 to 600,000 people to the Medicaid rolls here in North Carolina and it discussion Jordan, because you certainly are not saying that you don't care about people's a problem right accessing affordable insurance and care. So if not Medicaid, then what well yeah that's that's a great point.

You know, consumers are all off to get about labels and you don't care about poor people, it's just that we have different means to get to the same and we want everyone to have. It was much access to affordable healthcare is possible but we know the current system doesn't provide that, but luckily there are some nonprofit private organizations that are stepping up to you know fill the void where the current system is no falling short from people in one of those is a nonprofit in New York are called RIP medical debt and what this company does is it sponsors campaigns all around the country and you know individuals raise money hand over the money to RIP medical debt and what they do is they purchase portfolios of old medical debt owed by those at the bottom end of the income spectrum for pennies on the dollar and completely forgive the penalty debt free and you know there's already been a time of successful campaigns hundreds of millions of dollars of old medical debt. It's a great return on investment because every dollar they raise on average can wipe out $100 in medical debt and you know this is helping people that fell victim to surprise Bill things like that just got an unexpected hard to build a camp. Now I know that that you aren't telling the full story here about RIP medical debt that you described it accurately. Of course, but our listeners I think would be interested to know that this isn't just theory for you Jordan.

You actually have been involved with this program and yourself through your supporters.

You've raised more than $30,000 to wipe out the long-term medical debt of low income North and South Carolinian Sam congratulations number one that is awesome but Jordan talk a little bit if you would about the importance of nonprofits and individual people just helping other people. You absolutely. I mean we we had incredible success with my fundraiser we are able to raise a ton of money that will go to wipe out debt held by those in North and South Carolina are community members but I think you would RIP medical debt represents.

You know will not a panacea.

There plenty of farm options for the private market to step up and you really accomplish some of the goals of where the current system is falling short and we know that you know through many reasons.

There are procedures that are paid for by insurance or people may not have the means to pay for a procedure and they get stopped with a huge bill that they can afford and you know lingering medical debt can be crushing for a family and so we wanted to do was raise money, you know, is a private entity and it really help these people out may feel like they'd have no other options but you know hopefully you're the next couple months will begin a letter in the mail that says the medical debt will be wiped out and move on with their lives and that is a life altering event. Jordan Roberts is the healthcare policy analyst for the John lock foundation. Jordan that's all the time we have for the program this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of Michelle that Martinez will join us again next week for another edition of Carolina Journal radio Carolina Journal radio is a program of the John lock to learn more about the John lock foundation donations support programs like Carolina Journal radio send email to development John Locke called 66 jail left 166534636 Carolina Journal radio is the John line foundation airline is maintaining Carolina broadcasting system, Inc. all opinions expressed on this program are solely those did not merely reflect the station. For more information about the show. Other programs and services of the foundation. John Locke toll-free at 866 JL would like to thank our wonderful radio affiliates across Carolina Carolina Journal radio. Thank you for listening.

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