In the hot seat: Development, climate leads to increased risk of wildfires near NC cities and suburbs
More than 2.1 million homes in North Carolina lie within the “wildland urban interface” — populated areas on the fringe of forests, scrub and other vegetation — and are at a greater risk of wildfires because of development patterns and climate change, according to a new national report by Climate Central, a science-based nonprofit organization. […]
North Carolina’s existing abortion restrictions harm patients, doctors say
As Republicans in the state legislature contemplate more abortion restrictions, doctors who treat pregnant patients highlighted the existing legal barriers that present obstacles to good medical care. Among the state’s restrictions are a 20-week abortion ban, a 72-hour waiting period, a prohibition on telehealth appointments for abortion pill prescriptions, a requirement that patients take the […]
NC maternal death rate exceeds national rate
North Carolina’s maternal mortality rate is rising much faster than the national rate reported by the CDC on Thursday. The US maternal mortality rate in 2021 was 32.9 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to the CDC, up from 23.8 per 100,000 in 2020, and 20.1 per 100,000 in 2019. North Carolina’s maternal mortality rate doubled […]
Elon, Meredith and HPU polls offer insight into mindset of voters ahead of next week’s election
With elections looming next week, a trio of North Carolina-based polls released this week give insight into the mood of the electorate, voters’ top concerns and how confident they are in the elections themselves. The national economy continues to be a top issue for voters and the latest Elon University Poll, conducted Oct. 26 and […]
In national health care rankings, North Carolina is chronically ill
The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit that promotes high-quality health systems, publishes a scorecard each year that ranks states on 56 benchmarks, such as healthcare access, health disparities, and quality. The nonprofit added seven benchmarks related to COVID-19 to this year’s scorecard, including “excess deaths.” Overall, North Carolina ranked 34th of 51. (The District of Columbia is included in the rankings with the 50 states.) North Carolina ranked better than most states in the Southeast, but lagged behind neighboring Virginia, which came in 20th. Hawaii was No. 1 and Mississippi was 51st.
Education budget proposal falls short on Leandro and teacher pay
Education policy can get awfully complicated. However, state lawmakers will do a pretty good job if they consider just two guiding questions: Do our schools meet the bare minimum standards of what’s required under our state constitution? Are we doing a good job of recruiting and retaining great educators? The answer to the first question […]
More lawsuits over state abortion laws are coming, a Duke law professor says
As court fights over abortion intensify in the states, a Duke law professor predicts more legal battles challenging vague laws. Abortion is legal in North Carolina. House Speaker Tim Moore said in a statement last week that the Republican-led legislature will not take up new abortion laws this session. Republicans hold majorities in the state […]
NC House Republicans want the state to negotiate for a Medicaid expansion work requirement
A NC House Republican proposal for Medicaid expansion would require the state’s health department to negotiate for a work requirement for enrollees before the question of offering health insurance to low-income adults comes to a vote of the legislature. A new committee of House members and senators, called the Joint Legislative Committee on Medicaid Rate […]
NC congressional candidates fill campaign coffers with lots of their own money
For prominent candidates in the 13th Congressional district, campaign fundraising has meant a lot of pitching in of their own money. Some candidates have loaned their campaigns significantly more than they’ve raised from supporters. The new district is considered competitive and does not have an incumbent. It includes all of Johnston County, the southern half […]
COVID-19 cases are expected to increase in NC. Will wastewater help us know when?
Another increase in COVID-19 cases is expected in North Carolina, but it’s predicted to be not as big as the wave of infections that filled hospitals last winter, state health officials told legislators Tuesday. Susan Gale Perry, state Department of Health and Human Services chief deputy secretary, detailed COVID-19 monitoring and responses for legislator Tuesday, […]
Hot debate in NC health care on freeing advanced practice nurses from doctors’ supervision
The legislative committee considering Medicaid expansion and access to health care in North Carolina took up the contentious issue of allowing nurses with advanced degrees diagnose illnesses and prescribe medicine without doctor supervision. In a sometimes testy debate that lasted for more than three hours, doctors, nurses, and legislators went back and forth, referencing studies […]
COVID-19 pandemic exposed state unemployment office flaws. Audit says state failed to meet federal standards for timely payments.
The state Employment Security Commission took too long to pay unemployment benefits to people who lost their jobs in the first year of the pandemic. The lapse meant that $438 million in first payments were late getting to unemployed people between Jan. 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, according to a new state audit report. […]