Archives by: Lynn Bonner

Lynn Bonner

About the author

Lynn Bonner, Investigative Reporter, joined Policy Watch in October 2020 after 26 years as a reporter at The News & Observer. She covered the state legislature and politics for 20 years, and wrote extensively about mental health, state Medicaid policies and spending, and public education. Before coming to North Carolina, she wrote for newspapers in New England.

Lynn Bonner's articles and posts

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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.

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News Top Story

State budget has plenty of surprises, including lots of earmarks and lower raises than state employees wanted   

 Developing a state spending plan in secret, North Carolina Republicans used most of the state’s water and sewer improvement money for earmarked projects, lifted financial limits for families who want private school vouchers, and helped subsidize hog industry biogas plans.   Republicans released their $27.9 billion budget late Tuesday afternoon and plan to have it pass both House and Senate by the end of the week.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

State Board of Elections will rule on GOP request for signature checks on mail-in ballot requests

Proponents tout election security, but opponents say signatures change and predict significant voter disenfranchisement The North Carolina Republican Party wants local county elections officials to set aside requests for absentee ballots and double-check the mail-in ballots themselves based on whether they think voter signatures match.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

State Treasurer backs legislation that would give millions in NC free or discounted hospital care. It faces more review.  

Millions of North Carolinians would be eligible for discounted or free hospital care, even after their insurance was billed, under proposed legislation debated this week.   People who make up to 200% of the federal poverty level – this year, that’s $55,500 for a family of four - would receive free hospital care, under House Bill 1039. People in households of four people with incomes between $55,500 and $166,500, or 600% of the federal poverty level, would be eligible for discounts.

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Education News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Kids are already struggling as ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’ head to governor’s desk

This week House Bill 755 - the “Parents’ Bill of Rights” - is headed for one more procedural vote in the N.C. House and then to the desk of Gov. Roy Cooper. Cooper, a Democrat, has signaled he will veto the bill. But democratic lawmakers say tha will serve Republicans’ political purposes, letting them campaign on their opposition having killed a bill that would ban any instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in Kindergarten through third grade.

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Education News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

“Parents’ Bill of Rights,” targeting LGBTQ kids, is full of wrongs, opponents say

On Wednesday night, after the state Senate voted to approve House Bill 755, the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” State Rep. Cecil Brockman sounded ...
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Congress Defending Democracy News Top Story

Role of outside money looms larger than ever as PAC-backed candidates surge to primary election wins

State Sen. Valerie Foushee of Orange County won the Democratic primary for the open seat in the 4th Congressional District, defeating Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam and six other candidates in a contest where the millions in independent PAC spending for Foushee became a central issue in the race.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Well-heeled candidates sink millions of dollars of personal money into races for open congressional seats

While the political drama in North Carolina’s 1st Congressional district is focused on who will win the Democratic primary and the chance to succeed incumbent the U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Republican candidates in that district have raised about as much for their campaigns as the two most prominent Democrats combined.  

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Hampered by opposition from doctors’ groups, nurse practitioners want to change state law to give them more freedom to treat patients

Cindy Cross was diagnosed with breast cancer about 15 years ago and found compassionate medical care when she first visited Michelle Taylor Skipper’s office in Laurinburg.   Cross has been a patient of Skipper’s ever since, and her two adult daughters see her, too.

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Dr. Mandy Cohen offers prescriptions for lifting rural health at Duke event

Former HHS secretary says expansion of Medicaid and broadband access are essential for North Carolina Asked to imagine the brightest picture for rural healthcare, Dr. Mandy Cohen described patient visits through telehealth, communities thinking ahead how to reconfigure hospitals in danger of closing, and more people with insurance.

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