It is a typical strategy for those on the Left to demonize their opponents. This, in fact, is pretty much the sole purpose of the “Friday Follies” column written by Chris Fitzsimon for NC Policy Watch. This demonization is the necessary consequence of a political philosophy that undermines rational discourse precisely because it denies the existence of absolute truth. In short, a philosophically consistent leftist is also a moral relativist – which, of course, is not to say that every leftist journalist is philosophically consistent.
In any case, the most recent Friday Follies column attacks Civitas for referring to North Carolina’s Medicaid program as a “Cadillac” program. The description, in fact, does not originate with Civitas, but was used by the Lewin Group to characterize the state’s Medicaid program. The Lewin Group is not a conservative think tank, but an independent consulting and management firm hired by the General Assembly to evaluate the state’s Medicaid system. Lewin’s 2001 report concluded:
"North Carolina’s Medicaid benefit package includes a number of benefits not offered by an overwhelming number of state Medicaid programs. Topping this list is the generous length of North Carolina’s therapeutic leave policy at nursing homes (60 paid days a year to keep an empty bed reserved for a resident), and the chiropractic and podiatry benefits. These benefits assist many people, and we are not here recommending the termination of these benefits. We do, however, recommend reevaluating whether North Carolina should pare back where it exceeds the ‘average’ state Medicaid program, such as in these benefits."
It is reasonable to wonder why North Carolina’s Medicaid program is so much more expensive than those programs offered by other states. It is clear, however, that Fitzsimon is not interested in engaging in such a dialogue. If he were, Fitzsimon would have addressed the main point of the article – the transfer tax. For Fitzsimon, an article on the transfer tax that includes one sentence referring to North Carolina’s high level of covered optional services is “Medicaid bashing.”
According to Fitzsimon, Civitas “bashes” Medicaid because Medicaid helps poor people. It seems Fitzsimon thinks we here at Civitas hate poor people. In order to appease his conscience and avoid any rational analysis of opposing viewpoints, he must assign evil and sinister intentions to anyone who disagrees with his vision of government. The fact that Fitzsimon must resort to such petty insinuations reveals how weak his argument really is.
Brian Balfour and Jameson Taylor