As he hits Kay Hagan on healthcare, Thom Tillis is facing tough questions about his stance
As conservatives hammer Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan on the failures of the federal health care law, her chief Republican rival is getting squeezed from both sides of the political spectrum on the issue. Thom Tillis, who is leading the GOP’s Senate hopefuls in fundraising and early polling, was criticized in a TV ad earlier this month for wanting to repeal the federal health care law’s more popular items, such as provisions that prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage for preexisting conditions and charging for mammograms.
Morning Memo: GOP field to challenge Hagan increases to 7
The field of Republican candidates vying to challenge Democrat Kay Hagan increased to seven this week. In an unexpected move, AP reports Lexington attorney Jim Snyder, a recent three-time candidate, filed to run Tuesday. He is likely to fit in the pack of candidates to the political right of House Speaker Thom Tillis. Snyder said he entered the race because other candidates haven’t been talking about past trade agreements that led to job closings across the state and the banking crisis at the start of the past recession. A social conservative, Snyder said abortion isn’t being discussed enough, either.
Politico Magazine: North Carolina’s Civil War
One month into his term last year, Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill cutting unemployment benefits. By the time the legislature’s session ended in August, the state seemed like a new place. In six months, lawmakers passed gun laws that allowed permit-holders to carry concealed weapons into bars and onto playgrounds, and they slipped more restrictive abortion measures into a bill about motorcycle safety, and passed that, too. The state rejected Medicaid expansion called for under the Affordable Care Act, and 500,000 people who would have been eligible for benefits on Jan. 1 weren’t.
News & Observer: NC proposes experimental health networks for Medicaid patients
State officials rolled out a plan Wednesday for changes in the state Medicaid program that are a huge step away from the managed-care proposal Gov. Pat McCrory and top state Department of Health and Human Services officials pitched last year.
The new proposal avoids a fight with doctors, hospitals and other health care providers over the future of the $13 billion government health insurance program that covers about 1.7 million poor children and their parents, elderly people and disabled people.
News & Observer: Clay Aiken officially joins NC Congress race
RALEIGH, N.C. — Former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken says he’s running for Congress in North Carolina because he believes he can help end the gridlock in Washington. The singer officially filed candidacy papers Thursday to run for the state’s 2nd Congressional District currently held by Republican Renee Ellmers. Aiken announced his bid three weeks ago. His first job is to try to win the Democratic primary in May.
NC Libertarians getting US Senate primary, too
RALEIGH, N.C. —It looks like North Carolina Libertarians will have a U.S. Senate primary this year, too.Two Libertarian candidates filed Wednesday for the party’s nomination — Sean Haugh of Durham and Tim D’Annunzio of Raeford. Their candidacies bring to 11 the number of people running so far for Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s seat, including Hagan herself. The Democrats and Republicans also will have May primaries.
Washington Post: Reid: Koch brothers are ‘un-American’
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday that the conservative Koch brothers are "un-American."
Responding to ads being run by a Koch-backed group against Obamacare, Reid said the ads go too far and that Charles and David Koch are trying to "buy" America.
"It’s too bad that they’re trying to buy America, and it’s time that the American people spoke out against this terrible dishonesty of these two brothers who are about as un-American as anyone I can imagine," Reid said on the Senate floor.
Washington Post: Report: Almost 4 million with mental illness won’t be covered in states that don’t expand Medicaid
States that decide not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act will leave more than 3.7 million Americans with mental illness without health-care coverage, according to a new report from an organization that represents mental health professionals.
Almost one in five Americans between the ages of 18-34 who live without health insurance and make less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level suffer from serious psychological distress, the report by the American Mental Health Counselors Association says. In states that opt to expand Medicaid under the ACA, those people would be eligible for coverage that includes mental health treatment.
Washington Post: Arizona governor vetoes bill on denying services to gays
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed a controversial bill Wednesday that would have allowed businesses in the state to deny service to gays and lesbians if they felt that serving them would violate their religious rights. Gay rights advocates had denounced the legislation, labeling it a form of legalized discrimination, and Arizona’s two GOP senators and leading Republican candidates for governor had urged Brewer to veto the bill. Several GOP state legislators who had voted for the measure last week have said since then that it was not the right thing to do. In an evening appearance before reporters in Phoenix, Brewer said the bill “does not address a specific or pressing concern” and is not part of her agenda.
FROM PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: SUPPORT THE VOTER EXPANSION PROJECT Voting is one of the most fundamental rights in our democracy. That’s why we’re launching the Voter Expansion Project. We’re leading the charge to expand the vote, because it’s not enough anymore for us to simply protect against voting restrictions. Join President Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party in our fight to protect and expand the right to vote.
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