Dear Richard,

Dear Richard,

I hope it’s okay if I call you by your first name. After all, you are one of my senators and not that it seems to matter, but I voted for you. Thanks for your update on the “Better Care Reconciliation Act.” Your pal Thom Tillis gets no credit for information dissemination, but at least he’s not a liar. Does that sound caustic? My mother always said you attract more bees with honey, but I call bullshit, especially when it’s offered on a silver platter. You present a beautiful plan, really perfect, except that it is a total lie.

You’ve intentionally placed false information on your website. It’s one thing to make poor decisions, it’s another to lie about your decisions and give the story that you know will make people happy. Why not just do the things you want credit for? This is North Carolina, not North Korea.

Did you think no one would do their homework? I bet you never guessed it would be an Eastern NC girl, a mother of four, a debutante no less, and a graduate of our state’s best schools. Guess again. Let’s begin with the initiatives you tout as “good for North Carolina” and forgive me for being long winded, but this is important. My son Amos is three and has extra special needs and I’ll be damned if you’re going to throw him under the bus.

LIE ONE: The new plan stabilizes the collapsing insurance markets that have left millions of Americans with few options.

Fact: By repealing the ten essential health benefits, insurance companies will have the option of no longer offering: Hospitalization, maternity, prescription drugs, lab services, pediatric dental and vision, mental health, preventative care, and ER visits. You have cancer? Too bad, no medicine or surgery for you.

LIE TWO: The new plan keeps the law protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

Fact: Yep, they will be “protected,” but not have actual access to coverage to meet their needs.

LIE THREE: The new plan protects against lifetime limits on insurance coverage.

Fact: Insurers will be allowed to re-institute lifetime and annual caps.

LIE FOUR: The new plan strengthens North Carolina Medicaid.

Fact: Medically fragile kids and children on waivers will be defined as “non-mandatory population” and so, they can kiss services goodbye.

LIE FIVE: The new plan increases Medicaid funding for doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers that participate in the Medicaid program in North Carolina.

Fact: Over the next ten years, Medicaid will be cut by 800 billion federal dollars and states will have to come up with the money.

LIE SIX: The new plan continues Community Health Centers (CHC) to provide access to care in rural and hard to reach places, including in North Carolina.

Fact: I live in Edenton and I ain’t never seen a CHC, but the map showed many in Raleigh, Durham, and Greensboro. Rural, my ass.

LIE SEVEN: The new plan improves the insurance market.

Fact: It will improve the insurance company as your bill requires people to go without health care for 6 months if they miss one payment.

LIE EIGHT: The new plan ensures that premiums in NC will not increase in 2018.

Fact: Now, I will become a bookie if you stand by this ridiculousness.

LIE NINE: The new plan provides insurers with more flexibility to bring down prices and increase choices.

Fact: Perhaps if you bought a plan that offered nothing, it would be cheaper but the official data says premiums will be increased and choices will be far less. Perhaps by “increase choices” you refer to the increase in the many options of what will no longer be covered.

LIE TEN: The new plan supports North Carolina’s economy by repealing medical device tax.

Fact: Who knew there was such a thing? You tell us that “this tax will allow for new and innovative medical devices to reach Americans.” Ummm, you clearly have never tried to get BCBS to cover a device. I did see that section 118 provides for the repeal of tax for indoor tanning equipment. How helpful, encourage Americans to get melanoma and then refuse them treatment.

How dare you, Richard. I tried to call you today, but rumor has it that your phone is off the hook. Perhaps I’ll venture into politics, after all. I may not be an expert, but I’m not a liar. Never underestimate the power of a Mama Bear.

Bless your heart, Senator Richard Burr.

Adrian H. Wood, PhD

Rocky Mount Native

Graduate of Salem Academy, Meredith College, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and NC State University

Mother of four

Writer/ Speaker/ Advocate

Friend of the NC Supreme Court

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