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N.C. Opinions: Raleigh

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Worn out on Wos

From an editorial Tuesday in the (Raleigh) News & Observer:

There has been evidence aplenty that Aldona Wos, the state secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, isn’t up to the job. A medical doctor, former ambassador and major Republican political contributor, Wos was appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory as the person to fix DHHS, which McCrory believes was part of a state government that was “broken” by Democrats.

The governor has repeatedly defended Wos over six-figure consulting contracts (one of them given to an employee of Wos’ husband) and over the chaotic organizational problems in Medicaid and the food stamp program.

But despite the governor’s defense of his secretary, the evidence mounts and now GOP legislators appear to have had enough.

At a hearing of the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations last week, some Republican lawmakers expressed their displeasure with the way DHHS is running.

One, state Sen. Harry Brown of Jacksonville, majority leader in his GOP-run chamber, said Wos’ department wasn’t giving lawmakers enough “reliable data” to help them formulate a budget. He criticized NC Tracks, the Medicaid claims system, the fact that thousands of Medicaid cards had been mailed to the wrong addresses, the problems with delays in food stamps and the loss of key personnel.

All of that sadly is true. And yet Wos expects, apparently, to gather support from Republican lawmakers with a new plan to reform the Medicaid program.

Just why exactly would they do that? It’s like asking someone to catch on with a roller-coaster in mid-ride with half the cars hanging off the side.

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