Home Uncategorized McAuliffe Will Turn Down Trump Appointment, Focus on Jobs

McAuliffe Will Turn Down Trump Appointment, Focus on Jobs


by Dan Sullivan

When John Fredericks told Governor McAuliffe he’d recommended
him to Donald Trump as Secretary of Commerce, McAuliffe responded that he’s not
leaving office early for anything. He might rethink that after this legislative
session, but for now he’s focused on jobs, Medicaid expansion, public safety, and
invigorating Virginia’s exports.
On a recent visit to Virginia Trump, answering a question from
the press, remarked that he thinks Terry is a great Governor. It seems that John
Fredericks agrees, at least as far as the Governor’s enthusiastic efforts getting
companies to come to Virginia and creating jobs. In fact, with the exception of
Executive Order 50, Fredericks seems to be a fan himself and said as much in an
interview Friday.
On two issues that are related, Medicaid expansion and Certificates
of Public Need (COPN), Fredericks’ and McAuliffe’s positions appeared to
intersect as do the interests of Virginians on both. Unfortunately, Republican
members of the General Assembly have placed politics above the interests of
their constituents. Fredericks summed up the two sides of the COPN repeal argument:
opponents say repeal would weaken the healthcare system; proponents say it
would promote competition. McAuliffe pointed out that he requested the Task
Force that is studying COPN. Medicaid expansion or the lack thereof is an
essential factor in the design.

That Task Force headed by Eva Hardy has been meeting for over a
year. McAuliffe says that at the macro level, coming from a business background,
he is always for competition. But he also recognizes the charitable needs we
have. He wants to do what is in the best interests of healthcare provision. While
he believes competition is good, it has to be balanced against the needs of the
citizens of Virginia.
Fredericks pointed out that COPN repeal will put hospitals in
rural Virginia at risk. He asked point blank if the bill comes to the Governor
will it be vetoed. Governor McAuliffe deferred, saying he’d have to see the
bill, but that he too is concerned what a total repeal of COPN may do to our
rural hospitals. Do we need reforms in COPN? “You bet we do,” remarked
McAuliffe, “That’s why I asked for this task force.”  

COPN authorizations are considered in review cycles that are separated
into 7 different batch groups. The batch groups are:

  • A. General Hospitals, obstetrical services, neonatal special
    care services, general capital expenditures
  • B. Open heart surgery cardiac catheterization, ambulatory
    surgery centers, operating room additions, transplant services
  • C. Psychiatric facilities, substance abuse treatment, mental
    retardation facilities
  • D. Diagnostic imaging facilities and services
  • E. Medical rehabilitation beds and services
  • F. Radiation therapy, gamma knife surgery and linac based SRS,
    lithotripsy, diagnostic imaging equipment may be included in an application with
    radiation therapy
  • G. Nursing home facilities and bed additions, nursing home
    capital expenditures
Hospital care is not an unregulated free market. Recognizing
public need, hospitals are required by law to provide substantial free and
discounted care in the form of what Fredericks characterized as unfunded
mandates. That demonstrates a fundamentally flawed misrepresentation of the
requirement. Typical of the view from the right, it ignores the fact that laws
grow from moral, cultural, and social factors. More often than not, as in the codification
of common law, laws and regulations capture the aspects of society deemed worthwhile.
In this case it captures the Hippocratic responsibility to deny no one care and
the obligation for charity.
According to Fredericks, some say that legislators are pushing
COPN repeal to punish hospitals for backing Medicaid expansion. McAuliffe
reacted to that by saying that he has worked very hard on this and tried to do
it in a bipartisan way. The hospitals have now “stepped up to the plate” he
said, referring to the offer to cover the 10% state match funding requirement
that begins next year. According to McAuliffe, for every dollar the hospitals
invest they will get seven to nine in return. 17 of our 27 rural hospitals are
operating in the red. He points out that hospitals in the rural communities can
be the largest employers also.

”Whether you like healthcare,
whether you like the President it doesn’t matter anymore, the Supreme Court’s
ruled it. We have the ability, John, to bring $2.4 billion back, create 30,000
jobs, provide healthcare to 400,000 folks, save our rural hospitals. And John,
we can do this with no obligation to the state. – Governor McAuliffe

(Note that the Governor errs in saying he can “bring back” the
money that Virginia has passed up in previous years; but the funding going
forward will have the suggested economic and coverage benefits.)
McAuliffe stated that when he pays taxes he wants it all back.
He pointed out that Virginia is receiving $120,549,000 for resiliency to
protect against sea level rise. He wants to bring as much of Virginians’
federal tax dollars back as possible.
One has to wonder what in GOP minds makes funding that combats
climate change less objectionable than funding that improves Virginians’ lives.

“I am a very pro-business, fiscally
conservative Democrat. I am socially progressive. I always believe government
ought to be out of people’s personal lives.”

He pointed out that Louisiana recently expanded and that the
tea party governor of Kentucky who ran on repealing expansion has decided that
is not a good plan. Medicaid expansion is right for the shareholders of
Virginia: the taxpayers.
Regarding Senator Chap Peterson (D-Fairfax) wanting to save
Republicans from themselves: The Governor agrees with both Chap Peterson and
Donald Trump on the loyalty oath and he would sign the emergency legislation. “If
you get somebody to vote in the primary and you can’t hold them for the general
election, no offense, shame on you. Obviously your message or your candidate’s
not working. Don’t make them sign some foolish oath.”
Turning to banning guns through what Fredericks termed “executive
fiat” Fredericks said that has personally affected him. Because he has to leave
his Glock in his car in downtown Richmond, he argued he is defenseless.

”If somebody is going to come in
there to wreak havoc and shoot up the place, they’re not going to say “Well
look, I can’t come in this place because there’s a sign on the door from the
Governor of Virginia.” – John Fredericks

Governor McAuliffe pointed out that before he signed Executive
Order 50, he consulted with law enforcement. The State Police, the state’s Chiefs
of Police, the Sheriff’s Departments all agreed that personal weapons were just
not needed in state offices. This he classifies a common sense and he pointed
out that nobody is taking anyone’s guns away.

“I am not trying to stop anyone. If
you are a lawful, law-abiding citizen, you can go in and buy whatever you want on
your handguns, John. You can do that tomorrow. I am for that. Buy as many as
you want. Fill up your house. I’m fine with that. But you know what? If we can
stop a couple of folks, those that have a criminal record, then we ought to do
that. That’s not some far outer space idea; I’m sorry.”

In closing, McAuliffe returned to the theme that he believes
got him elected: jobs. There were $9.8 billion in federal spending cuts during
2011 – 2013. Most of that affects Northern Virginia. There’s about 15 million
square feet vacant in Crystal City as a result of defense cuts. This will
happen again in 2 years when sequestration begins anew. This is why the
Governor is focused on diversifying the economy. The 565 economic development
projects totaling $9.3 billion in capital investment during his time in office
speak for themselves.
The recent trade visit to Cuba was a footnote. Virginia has
been doing business in Cuba for 13 years. McAuliffe believes we can increase
our agricultural exports dramatically. In return we can consume some Cuban rum
and cigars to get that trade flowing. And he just returned from Oman and Kuwait
where he got the poultry ban lifted. Virginia apples are now being sold in
India. This is what McAuliffe believes he was elected to do.