Friday, November 11, 2011

$12.4 million grant sits unused while state Republicans dither

North Carolina recently received a $12.4 million federal grant to help set up its health insurance exchange, but the grant is going unused because Republicans refuse to meet to provide the go ahead.
Millions in federal money has gone unspent for weeks because legislators have put off talking to the state Department of Insurance about how a national health insurance grant will be used.

Lawmakers dropped discussion of the $12.4 million grant from the Oct. 27 agenda of a high-powered group called the Joint Legislative Committee on Governmental Operations. Agencies must consult with the committee, which House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger run, before spending grant money in certain circumstances.

The money is for the state to do prep work for a health benefit exchange that the federal health insurance law would require of all states by 2014. With no grant money to support it, most of the work at the state Department of Insurance and the N.C. Institute of Medicine on the exchange has stopped.
Health insurance exchanges were a feature of both the Republican and Democratic proposals on health care reform and rightly so because the exchanges will increase the availability, transparency, and efficiency of health insurance. There is no good reason not to begin planning for how to set up the state's exchange.

The approach is also counter-productive to Republican goals because it increases the chances that North Carolina will have to operate under a possible federal exchange program rather than a North-Carolina-run and tailored program.

In addition, the delay hurts North Carolina economically. The $12.4 million would provide an economic boost to a state that sorely needs it. Over the last year, North Carolina has effectively had no job growth, and last month, the state had the dubious distinction of leading the nation in job losses. Given that sorry record, you would think that the Republicans would feel some urgency to get the money into the economy.

Instead, much like they did with the federal unemployment money, Republicans are engaged in a senseless, self-defeating, job-killing delay.

4 comments:

W.E. Heasley said...

“In addition, the delay hurts North Carolina economically. The $12.4 million would provide an economic boost to a state that sorely needs it. Over the last year, North Carolina has effectively had no job growth, and last month, the state had the dubious distinction of leading the nation in job losses. Given that sorry record, you would think that the Republicans would feel some urgency to get the money into the economy.


Instead, much like they did with the federal unemployment money, Republicans are engaged in a senseless, self-defeating, job-killing delay”. – David Ribar

Your entire blog post is a notional proposition. Moreover, the post adds no insight. The post is merely shallow debate. Specifically, your shallow debate is: put forth a notional proposition, frame the notional as empirical (which it is not), argue through verbal virtuosity and vilification by denying your opponent legitimacy, and merely end by painting a world in your own self-image. Very nice!


This particular post is devoid of economics. It’s merely your political economy view based upon your own notional proposition. How very, very nice!


You blog header mentions “rational choice economics”. Really? Your proposition above is not public choice theory related [Buchanan and Tullock]; it’s the rational choice of acting as a rent seeker when $12.4 million of taxpayer money is available. Is that not your notional proposition? Stated alternatively, your notional proposition incorporates the “rational choice” of being a rent seeker.


“…would feel some urgency to get the money into the economy” means to rent seek the $12.4 million of taxpayer money and this one time drop in the bucket of taxpayer money is some form of long term job creation. How very notional. And your empirical evidence is exactly what? Nay, nay. The empirical is that private capital formation is the driver of long term private sector jobs.


The $12.4 million, in passing, is referred to in your post as a “grant”. Indeed it is a grant but it’s not pixie dust. Where did the grant come from? The grant is in fact taxpayer dollars which you advocate as a “jobs” creator. Hence North Carolina taxpayers need to expend the grant which is made up of their money and exogenous taxpayer’s monies and this is a job creation proposition? And when the $12.4 million is exhausted, then what? What next? Shall we entitle your proposition Rent Seeking Job Creation and other Pixie Dust Tales?

Dave Ribar said...

Leaving $12.4 million in available federal funds unspent is a real and economically unsound proposition. And reflexively gainsaying policies that you supported just a few years ago because your political opponent now supports them is irrational.

wafranklin said...

Heasley is a rightwing troll who uses hi-faluting language and references to supposed scholars about whom he apparently knows nothing. Simple, Heasley, there is money on the ground and we should pick it up. End of arugments. And, there is nothing which we can apparently do to convince that bunch of ideologically damaged rightwing Republican White Peoples' tea party idiots to simply pick it up -- no they rather cut services and tax and fee poor folks. This is the simple jerkism one expects of people like this who have escaped to plague civil people.

cheripickr said...

ummmm, who's the troll?