NC HEALTH REPORT: Changing jobs, not my work

April 24, 2014

By Adam Searing

After 17 years at the North Carolina Justice Center I’m finally going to be leaving.  I am joining  Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families (CCF) at the McCourt Center for Public Policy in DC.  Luckily I’ll be doing the much of the same work with CCF that I’ve done here in North Carolina but this time working with states around the country to continue Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

The Center for Children and Families is a great organization I’ve had the pleasure to work with for many years, most recently on their innovative project to take what we learned here in North Carolina about using video in the nonprofit world to many other states.  I thought I would always be here at the Justice Center but this opportunity is simply too exciting and the ability to help expand health coverage for many, many more low income people is too important to pass up.  Living my values is one of the great privileges of my job here at the Justice Center and I’m excited to continue to work for equity in health care for families in all states around our country – an outcome that is long overdue.

[You can read the CCF announcement about my hiring here. ]

Be assured however that I will continue to push for reform here in North Carolina. My work with all my colleagues here at the Justice Center has highlighted the big changes necessary in our state.  Not only do we need to finish the job and expand Medicaid using federal dollars under the Affordable Care Act, but the recent changes to our tax system that shift the burden to middle and lower income families are unconscionable as well as the current assault on our teachers and educational institutions.  The Justice Center is a force for opportunity and change in the Old North State and I look forward to continuing to work with my friends here as a partner as I begin a new role. Finally, our health project is a strong one with Adam Linker and Nicole Dozier's excellent work, familiar to anyone who cares about health care in North Carolina.

So, while my job may be changing, my commitment and the work I do will not.  It’s been a great 17 years.  I look forward to the next challenge.

US Sen Burr: Bashing Affordable Care Act with mistakes

US Senator Burr was the star witness at the NC General Assembly’s “bash the Affordable Care Act” here at UNC Greensboro yesterday. Unfortunately Burr, described as “the foremost authority on health care in the Senate” by one of the legislators here, is making some pretty big mistakes in his testimony.  Amazingly, these mistakes just happen to contribute to his attack on the Affordable Care Act.

Burr, in explaining his opposition to NC taking the federal money to expand the NC Medicaid program, suggests that NC Medicaid program doesn’t require beneficiaries to be assigned a primary care doctor.  He says if he could change the NC Medicaid program for the better he would require every beneficiary to be assigned to a primary care provider. Earth to Burr:  NC’s Medicaid program already does that.  From NC Medicaid’s website:

CCNC/CA is North Carolina’s Medicaid program. It provides you with a medical home and a primary care provider (PCP) who will coordinate your medical care.
 

As a CCNC/CA member, you are eligible for all the services that Medicaid covers. Being a member also has the following advantages:
 

You can choose a medical home with a primary doctor. A medical home can be chosen for each family member. Your local County Department of Social Services (DSS) office has a complete list of participating doctors. If you do not choose a medical home, you will be automatically assigned to one.
 

You can call your primary doctor day or night for medical advice. Check your Medicaid ID card for your doctor’s daytime and after-hours phone numbers.

Watch the entire video here.
 

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