Fact: The NC Department of Correction's spending on hospital care for prison inmates has been out of control over the past decade: it shot up from $17.5 million in 1999 to $55.8 million in 2009.
Fact: Last Aug. 5, the NC General Assembly passed its budget bill, which included a provision mandating that inmates treated at hospitals would be billed at the same rates as the State Health Plan for state workers and teachers, a reform that would have saved the state millions on hospital treatment for inmates.
Disgusting Fact: On the day that Gov. Perdue signed the budget law, state Democratic Sen. Tony Rand inserted language in a legislative housekeeping bill that effectively gutted the money-saving provision.
Really Disgusting Fact: It comes to light in an investigation by the Raleigh News & Observer (published today) that Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.C. was sending secret e-mails to Sen. Rand containing the language that he subsequently inserted to help that monopolistic health-insurance provider (so to speak) continue to rip off the state's taxpayers.
These are the same corporate tools who have gotten hysterical over the threat of actual health-insurance reform, like the "public option," and who have used the U.S. mails to induce their naive subscribers to put pressure on Sen. Kay Hagan and others not to do anything in Congress that might cause their cash cow to give less milk.
Non-profit corporation ... there's an oxymoron!
Tony Rand is now gone from the State Senate, pursued closely by the bears of prosecutorial retribution. Might his collusion with BC/BS of NC be added to the list of offenses, or was that perfectly legal in the way that only politicians could devise unethical string-pulling to be "perfectly legal"?