The tradition with the North Carolina state treasurer is that people only hear from them every four years, when they are running for election.
North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell, who was first elected in 2016 and reelected in 2020, doesn’t hold with that tradition.
Folwell spent most of Monday, Jan. 9 in Guilford County and gave his penultimate talk of the day at the Guilford County Republican Party Executive Committee meeting at 7 p.m.
Folwell said he had one more appearance at 8:30 p.m. before he called it a day.
Folwell packs a lot of humor into a 15-minute talk about the finances of the state, but sometimes the audience needs the help of a calculator to get the punchline.
Folwell noted that North Carolina had been able to maintain its triple-A bond rating through one of the most difficult financial periods of the era by using “basic economic fundamentals.”
He said, “We now have one of the strongest pension plans in the US. Our pension plan is 86 percent funded.” He noted that South Carolina’s pension plan was 60 percent funded, Kentucky’s is 30 percent funded and that many in the country were much worse.
Folwell said, “We cut $700 million out of the cost structure of the pension plan. I promised to cut $100 million, but I like to under promise and over deliver.”
And, of course, Folwell talked about health care. He said, “As the largest purchaser of health care in the state,” he attempted to find out what he was supposed to pay and asked the University of North Carolina health care for the figures. Folwell said what he received back were 158 pages totally redacted, and he held up a copy of what he received – page after page of the document was completely black.
Folwell said, “These are multibillion corporations who disguise themselves as nonprofits.”
Folwell said, “President Biden and President Trump both signed executive orders stating that secret medical pricing is against the law.” But he noted that all he received when he asked for prices of medical care where redacted pages.
He said the current healthcare providers had formed a “cartel” to control the supply and the price of health care in the state. He said that the way they controlled the supply was through the “certificate of need” and that the legislature needed to abolish the certificate of need and make health care a more competitive market.
Folwell said he was very concerned about the $1.7 billion in school bonds passed by the voters of Guilford County.
He said, “Voters approved for this debt to be issued by a 60/40 margin but disapproved of the funding to pay for the bonds by a 60/40 margin. That’s a huge concern to me.”
He also said he was concerned because Guilford County didn’t spend the $300 million in bonds passed in 2020 when interest rates and construction costs were at historic lows.