Saturday, December 11, 2010

NC Families Report Receipt of Historic Insurance Refunds: Just in time for Christmas and End-of-Year Bills!


As reported previously here at Wayne's World and around the State, two hundred fifteen thousand families and small businesses over the last two weeks have been receiving their historic $156.8 Million in refunds from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, pursuant to a mutual agreement crafted in part by NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin.

If you don't believe that the checks have literally been "in the mail" and are now in the hands of individual policyholders, then look at the accompanying picture of a refund check totalling more than $999! (Wayne's World appreciates a reader for emailing the photo.) And, if you need even more proof, check out the myriad comments linked here (go to the bottom of the previous page link) from a very diverse group of individuals representing every portion of the Tar Heel state. The good news has even caused quite the positive flutter on Facebook over the last two weeks.

Counting these most recent refunds, NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has been responsible for more than $900 Million in refunds and insurance rate cuts within his first two years in office alone.
"I'd say the work product of this office and the entire Department of Insurance has provided a tremendous economic stimulus package to North Carolina, in addition to vital consumer protections and a solvent, reasonably-regulated insurance market," said Insurance Commissioner Goodwin.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Heartland Institute Calls NC Insurance Commissioner Goodwin a “true change agent”

Conservative, Free-Market Organization Invites Tar Heel Insurance Regulator to Address Texas Leaders Next Month

Next month The Heartland Institute and other partners will host a forum in Austin, Texas brought about, in part, because the 2011 Texas legislature faces a daunting insurance environment for taxpayers and industry alike.

“Out of the Storm News”, a new web publication of the institute’s Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate launched five months ago, invited NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin to be a primary speaker for the estimated 300+ leaders who will gather in the Texas Capitol Auditorium.

Here is the public announcement:

In 2011, the Texas legislature will confront an insurance environment characterized by high rates, serious risks to taxpayers, and inadequate investment in disaster mitigation.

On January 27, The Heartland Institute, in cooperation with its partners, including the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, will present a half-day program to clarify the nature of the state’s insurance environment and offer solutions from similarly situated states. The program – which will include panel discussions, speeches, and the opportunity for questions from attendees – will be held from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm, at the Texas Capitol Auditorium in Austin, Texas.

Wayne Goodwin, commissioner of the North Carolina Department of Insurance will be a special guest at the program, to share his experience with consumer advocacy through fair rate-making, injury prevention efforts, and close regulation of insurance company solvency and industry practices.

“We’re very excited to have Commissioner Goodwin joining us. He’s been a true change agent in North Carolina and we think that his actions offer a lot of lessons for Texas,” says Eli Lehrer, Heartland Institute senior fellow and national director of the Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate.Other panelists include David Marlett, chair of the Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance at Appalachian State University, Daniel Sutter, affiliated senior scholar at the Mercatus Center and Associate Professor of economics at the University of Texas – Pan American, Lars Powell, an associate professor who holds the Whitbeck-Beyer Chair of Insurance and Financial Services at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, Dennis Burke, the Reinsurance Association of America’s vice president of state relations, Bill Peacock, the vp of research and director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Economic Freedom, Alex Winslow, executive director of Texas Watch, former Texas senator Babe Schwartz, and John Colyandro, executive director of the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute.

“Texas has a seriously flawed and troubled property insurance environment,” says Lehrer. “A lot of the problems stem from an inadequate or simply incorrect understanding of the way insurance works. We’re hoping to correct that through a broad, objective overview of the insurance environment.
This is not the first time that free market and conservative thinkers have lauded NC Insurance Commissioner Goodwin, a North Carolina Democrat, for his efforts at reform: In 2009 he addressed a group of southern business leaders, insurance professionals, and fellow insurance regulators in New Orleans on his successful efforts to maintain coastal insurance for Tar Heels. Goodwin received praise from the John Locke Foundation and The Heartland Institute (separate from the above) earlier in 2010. And, Goodwin has also been recognized and endorsed by former Congressman Barry Goldwater, Jr., son of the late GOP icon, U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater.

"I'm honored and humbled to have the support and confidence of so many folks from across the ideological spectrum and from members and leaders of both major political parties," said Insurance Commissioner Goodwin.
Goodwin continued, "I believe that fact is the result of keeping an open mind, focusing on common sensical and reasonable regulation, protecting State-based solutions and State-based authority, watching out for consumers always, and being ever mindful of how important a solvent insurance marketplace is for consumer and industry alike
."
Goodwin was elected to his first term as state Insurance Commissioner in 2008. He is up for re-election in 2012.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Commissioner Goodwin: Reminder that more than 215,000 Health Insurance Refund Checks Totalling $156.8 Million In Mail This Week!


Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin wants to remind North Carolinians that starting this week, approximately 215,000 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina individual policyholders will begin receiving refund checks worth a combined $155.8 million. Pursuant to the September agreement reached with Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and the Department of Insurance, BCBSNC mailed the first batch of refund checks on November 29 to approximately 50,000 policyholders, and the remainder will be mailed no later than December 8.
"With folks preparing for the year-end holidays and taking care of expenses, I know these refunds will help families across North Carolina,” said Commissioner Goodwin. “I'm pleased that my staff and I were able to work with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina to get this money back into the hands of thousands and thousands of our citizens."
The refunds will be issued to policyholders who had Blue Advantage or Blue Options HSA for Individuals policies in force as of March 23, 2010, the date the federal Affordable Care Act was enacted. Customers may receive lower or higher amounts depending on their specific premium rate, but an average policyholder with a monthly premium of about $380 will receive approximately $690.

The new rating and grandfathering rules in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act create a one-time circumstance enabling these refunds. The funds come from active life reserves, which are portions of the premium set aside in the early years of a policy to pay future claims and keep rates stable as customers' medical expenses rise during the life of the policy. However, policies purchased or substantially modified after March 23 of this year will end in 2014 under the new health care reform law, which is when the new products under health reform will be introduced. Therefore, the reserves held for these products will cover a much shorter period of time, allowing for these funds to be released.

Consumers with questions about the refunds, including whether they are eligible to receive a refund, should call BCBSNC's dedicated customer refund line, 1-877-784-2375.

Other insurance premium refunds that Commissioner Goodwin has announced include more than $50 million stemming from the 2009 auto rate settlement; Commissioner Goodwin has also announced potential rate savings for auto and workers compensation policyholders totaling approximately $673 million since 2009.
"I'm very pleased that consumers - North Carolina families and small businesses - have benefited so much by the insurance refunds and rate cuts of more than $800 Million announced during my first two years in office," said Goodwin.
Whether during the holidays or not, these monies are certainly an economic stimulus package for North Carolina, courtesy of the dedicated work by your Insurance Commissioner's team.

Friday, November 26, 2010

N&O Includes Insurance Commissioner Goodwin in 2010 Thanksgiving Column


The Raleigh News & Observer's long-running "Under the Dome" column recognized key State officials and newsmakers on Thanksgiving Day yesterday about those things for which they may be thankful from the past year. Included was this nugget:
Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, aka the "Capeless Crusader," should be thankful for the accolades and national attention he received this fall from President Barack Obama, "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart and The Wall Street Journal, among others. The praise began to pile up after Goodwin announced in September that Blue Cross and Blue Shield would refund $156 million to its customers and had agreed to a less-than-expected rate increase for 2011.
Apparently the fine folks at the N&O have been visiting the "Wayne's World" blog! We thank you and encourage you to drop by again sometime.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Non-insurance Options involving Faith-based Organizations

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin participated in a TV interview this week that focused on non-insurance options involving faith-based organizations.
Because religious organizations such as Samaritan Ministries International are not State-regulated insurance companies, there is no legal guarantee that dues-paying organization members will receive payment for health-related claims, medical bills, and the like.
"It's a matter of faith, and I fully respect why a person or family may choose that option" said Insurance Commissioner Goodwin. "However, it's important for folks to know what they're paying for, and that it is not insurance. While for some persons this type of 'coverage' may be an option, most persons want the peace of mind knowing that their Department of Insurance has verified that a company is solvent to pay claims, that the entity is legitimate and licensed and not scamming or embezzling monies, and that the Department has authority to enforce the full complement of consumer protections within the law that are not available with faith-based, non-insurance coverage. If we receive a complaint about a particular practice or error by an entity selling non-insurance coverage of the kind discussed here, then by law there is nothing we can do to help a victim."
Goodwin said that, to his knowledge, he is not aware of any formal complaints received from current or former members of Samaritan Ministries.

To learn more about your options and the consumer protections that regulated insurance provides, and to know the difference between regulated insurance and non-insurance, please call the toll-free Consumer Helpline at the North Carolina Department of Insurance: 800-546-5664.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Raleigh Business Owner Charged With Illegally Dropping Health Insurance for Employees

North Carolina's Insurance Commissioner, Wayne Goodwin, and the Department of Insurance are going after yet another person charged with illegally dropping health insurance for employees of a small business. See the accompanying WRAL-TV video about it or check out the official press release from the Department here.

According to WRAL-TV:
Tonja Jordan Austin, 38, of 109 Hilary Place in Cary, was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts each of failing to pay group health insurance premiums and failing to properly notify people covered by the policy that the premiums were no longer being paid.

Austin was the co-owner of Integrated Family Solutions, a community-based mental health agency that recently closed its offices in Raleigh and Durham. The state Department of Insurance said Friday that she didn't pay premiums to United Healthcare, and the nonprofit's health policies were terminated on Dec. 1 and April 1.

State law requires that employers give workers 45 days written notice if they are canceling or terminating health coverage.

"In instances like this, most people will not know until it's too late," Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin said.

One Integrated Family Solutions [employee] complained to the DOI, prompting the state investigation, after amassing more than $13,000 in medical bills that weren't covered by insurance, Goodwin said.

"It causes tremendous heartbreak and havoc for family finances," he said.

Goodwin said such cases occur more often in a soft economy because companies try to cut costs by dropping insurance coverage. So far this year, the DOI has investigated 41 cases, resulting in eight arrests and two convictions.

"These are serious allegations and certainly serious criminal acts that affect anywhere from a few employees to thousands of employees," he said.

People who have health insurance through their employer should double-check that the premiums are up to date before before having a major procedure, he said.
The Tar Heel state Insurance Commissioner actively fights insurance fraud of all kinds, and indicates that such crime has dramatically increased over the last year or so, directly resulting from the worst economy in our lifetimes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin Teaches Cleveland County Junior Firefighters


Knowing that it's never too early to reach out and recruit firefighters and to educate folks on the ingredients for home fire prevention, State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin is shown here extolling the virtues of his message to a gaggle of firehat-wearing 1st graders from Shelby, North Carolina. He met with students, educators, and local officials at the Cleveland County Agriculture Fair. Goodwin also serves as the statewide elected Commissioner of Insurance.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank you, USA Veterans!

On this Veterans Day 2010, we offer many thanks and limitless appreciation to our hometown heroes and all the American heroes where ever they may be past and present, who fought to protect us, our rights and our freedoms.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Part 2: Capeless Crusader Wayne Goodwin Fights Insurance Fraud

The exploits of North Carolina’s Insurance Commissioner as crime fighter have been well-documented on this site and in other places, including countless news accounts and the official website of the Department of Insurance.

As a public service to those who join Wayne Goodwin in the never-ending battle for Truth, Justice and the American Way, here is a sample of insurance fraud cases closed in recent months by his team.

They include:

An agent who submitted false life insurance applications in Lenoir County

Two sisters, both of whom are insurance agents, who embezzled premiums in Durham

A Cary subcontractor who submitted a fraudulent certificate of insurance to a homebuilder

A Stanly County woman who exploited her grandmother for insurance money in Albemarle

A Greensboro insurance agent who also embezzled monies

A Burlington jewelry thief whose name - Minx VonParis DeMaxzmohr - is worthy of a James Bond villain

A car shop owner and customer in Martin County jointly conspiring to swindle insurance monies
"As our Insurance Commissioner and the elected head of a law enforcement agency, I take protecting consumers and fighting insurance crime very seriously,” said Wayne Goodwin. “It’s not about partisanship, but right versus wrong, justice versus the lawbreaker, and competence versus inexperience, as well as protecting State-based regulation for the benefit of consumers and small businesses each and every day.”
North Carolina’s Commissioner of Insurance and the Department of Insurance employ 20 sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating claims of insurance fraud. So far in 2010, these criminal investigators have seen more than 268 cases successfully closed with more than $18.5 million in restitution and recoveries, 54 criminal convictions and 89 arrests.

An estimated 10 cents of every dollar paid in premiums goes toward the payment of fraudulent claims. To report suspected fraud, contact the Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.com.

Accordingly, the battle for justice and public security is never-ending. To do his part, it may be comforting to note that Insurance Commissioner Goodwin has already been described by an "Under the Dome" blogger for the Raleigh News & Observer in October 2009 as
"apparently an action hero, by elected-official standards."
And as every good action hero knows, it is a 24-7 job.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

NC Insurance Commissioner's Leadership Highlighted on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show"

For Wayne Goodwin Cutting Insurance Rates, Ordering Refunds

Wayne Goodwin, North Carolina's elected Commissioner of Insurance, has reached another cultural, personal and political milestone: He found himself referenced this week on the highly-acclaimed national news/comedy program, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. (Covered in greater written detail, inter alia, on The Progressive Pulse and here, here, and here.)

In front of many millions of TV viewers, it was said:
"We have empowered state insurance commissioners to review the rate hikes that are taking place in states. And in some states like North Carolina, they have already used it and rolled back premium increases by 25 percent."
For further context, go to prior coverage at other news and blog links here and here.

Goodwin has received further high praise and recognition for cutting health insurance rates by approximately 25% from what was filed by the insurance carrier and for ordering a return of $156 million back to 215,000+ North Carolina consumers. This is a capstone to the plethora of positive feedback the Tar Heel insurance regulator has received over the last five weeks.

And if one were to include other lines of insurance such as automobile and workers compensation, Goodwin has cut rates and saved more than $650 million and ordered refunds totalling $265+ million, plus recovered more than $25 million more for victims of insurance fraud, all for North Carolina consumers, families and small businesses in less than two years in office.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Insurance Commissioner Goodwin Criss-Crosses North Carolina


Though Not on Ballot in 2010, Statewide Elected Official Barnstorms All Over

Wayne Goodwin says he doesn't just meet consumers and voters during his election year, but each and every day.

To that end, he has picked up the pace of criss-crossing North Carolina from east to west, back and forth over the last several months.

Sometimes he's speaking to a group of 15 members of a civic club.

Another day he's bringing down the house in front of 1,000 senior citizens or small business owners at a conference.

Then there are the political events where he gets hundreds of people to respond back and engage with him as if they were in church.

And all in-between Goodwin informs, implores, cajoles, and makes his audiences laugh while proving each time that what makes him tick is good government, common sense leadership, consumer protection, transparency, doing what's right, and 21st century populism.

In the months of September and October alone, some of the Tar Heel places Insurance Commissioner Goodwin will have visited are:

*Carteret County Underwriters, Morehead City
*IIANC of Charlotte/Mecklenburg
*Roanoke Rapids Valley Chamber of Commerce
*Southeast Raleigh
*Anson County Democratic Party, Wadesboro
*Piedmont Triad 2010 Aging Conference, Greensboro
*Pharmacy Leaders' Forum, Greensboro
*Ashe Co. Democratic Party, West Jefferson
*Ashe County Homebuilders Association, Jefferson
*Gibson Fire Dept, Scotland County
*Employee Benefits Brokers Seminar, Charlotte
*NC Retail Pharmacists Annual Mtg, Raleigh
*Statewide Fire Drill/Fire Prevention Month, Cleveland Co. Fair, Shelby
*Tri-Community Fire Dept., New Bern
*Independent Insurance Agents of NC (IIANC) Annual Convention, Asheville
*Western NC Fire Training Center, Woodfin
*NC Assn of Health Underwriters - WNC (NCAHU), Asheville
*Governor's Aging Conference, Research Triangle Park
*NC State Fair (multiple times)
*Morrison-Deane-Goodman Annual Dinner, Hamlet
*East Carolina University (ECU), Greenville
Even more appearances and opportunities for citizens to meet him are slated in the coming months for coastal and eastern Carolina, as well as throughout the state.

And then there is all the activity he does actually in his office: ordering hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance refunds and rate reductions, fighting insurance fraud, protecting consumers, penalizing insurance companies for violations of the law, being a watchdog for insurance company solvency, approving and delivering grant funds to fire departments, keeping North Carolina ahead of the curve in many ways, and generally keeping a close eye on the work of his administration.

Suffice it to say, this state insurance commissioner - heralded as the best insurance commissioner in the country in Hamlet last night by Lt. Governor Walter Dalton and one of the best state insurance regulators in the nation by the President of the United States last month - is one of the hardest working, most accessible, highest octane state officials you'll ever find.

Searing: Goodwin Supports Consumer Advocates

Adam Searing of the NC Justice Center had this to say on the Progressive Pulse, a NC Policy Watch blog, yesterday:

The nation’s state insurance commissioners, meeting together today in Orlando, rejected attempts to weaken at the state level the federal health reform requirement that health insurers spend 80- 85% of the premium dollars they collect on actually providing medical care. Good for them and good for NC’s Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin for supporting consumer advocates like the NC Justice Center and beating back industry efforts to weaken these standards.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

AARP Highlights NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin in National Publication

AARP has just published an enlightening national article - at this link here - highlighting North Carolina's public financing of elections program, which currently involves three Council of State offices (including Insurance Commissioner) and statewide judicial races. The post focuses on two views of the program: one by Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, a proponent, and the other by State Senator Phil Berger, an opponent.(Photos by D.L. Anderson)
The AARP bulletin piece, authored by Sue Price Johnson, is entitled "State Leads Trend Toward Publicly Financed Campaigns: More candidates are discovering the benefits of not relying on special interests."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wayne's White House Adventure Today: President Publicly Thanks Goodwin For Historic Insurance Refunds

Wayne Goodwin, North Carolina's Insurance Commissioner, had quite the adventure on September 22.

On the heels of his joint announcement with Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Brad Wilson two days ago, the state insurance chief responded to a request from the White House to travel to Washington, D.C., to discuss the $155.8 Million in refunds to 215,000 North Carolinians and the additional savings of $14 Million in health insurance rate reductions.

While heading into the neighboring Eisenhower Executive Office Building, he was surprised to be asked to participate in a press briefing with President Obama as a direct result of the refund news.

Goodwin also briefed approximately 35 other states' insurance commissioners on how BCBSNC and he accomplished their agreement.

Further, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius - former Kansas insurance commissioner and Governor - praised Goodwin and North Carolina for such great news for Tar Heel consumers. For the occasion she asked him to sit near the front of the President's conference room.

Goodwin's most excellent adventure concluded as he was whisked to the West Wing of the White House, where he then proceeded to provide a press briefing to a bevy of national reporters and TV cameras. Coverage appeared in multiple national media outlets and various political pundit blogs, etc.

The Raleigh News & Observer published an article about the day's activity. Entitled "Goodwin Basks in Spotlight of White House," reporter Alan Wolfe wrote:
Thanks to "providential" timing, N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin was the center of attention at the White House today.

During a meeting of state insurance commissioners and Obama administration officials, the biggest buzz was Monday's news of Goodwin's agreement with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. The health insurer plans to refund customers $155.8 million and raise rates less than expected.

President Obama mentioned it several times as an example of the federal health overhaul spurring positive results for consumers. He also thanked Goodwin for his work with Blue Cross and told the group: "Well done, Wayne."

"I've met presidents before, but I've never been singled out by first name at the White House," Goodwin said by phone from the Washington airport.

"It's been a pretty good week for a farm boy from Hamlet," he added. "It was thrilling, informative and surreal all at the same time
."

Goodwin, who isn't up for reelection until 2012, said the timing of Monday's announcement with Blue Cross was coincidental with the White House event to mark the six months since the health reform law passed.
The Raleigh article continued:
"The timing was just providential. I'm just proud that North Carolina and Blue Cross both were recognized as leaders in protecting consumers."

Goodwin also held a press briefing on the steps outside the West Wing this afternoon. Insurance commissioners from other states continue to ask him how he orchestrated the deal with Blue Cross and whether they can negotiate similar agreements.

"This is a great win for consumers and for state-based regulation," Goodwin said.
Goodwin's hometown newspaper, the Richmond County Daily Journal, had this to say:

"(Today) is the next major benchmark on health care reform implementation, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners was asked to meet with the president and his cabinet members to discuss it,” Goodwin said. “This was a bi-partisan effort, and I was able to voice some of my concerns about how important it is maintain the role of the states in regulating insurance for the consumers of America.”

Wednesday’s White House meeting came on the heels of an announcement Monday Goodwin and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina reached an agreement to refund $155.8 million to more than 215,000 individual policyholders in the state.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Goodwin said Obama lauded the effort and referred to Goodwin in a familiar tone.

“Wayne, well done,” Goodwin quoted the president.

CNN referenced Insurance Commissioner Goodwin in its news coverage that evening, saying:
... Some noted that meeting timelines for changes in the legislation would cost states significant resources, while the commissioner from North Carolina cited a benefit. Policies carrying excess contract reserves have been renegotiated at lower rates, bringing cost savings to participants, said the official, Wayne Goodwin.
The refund is a result of the White House’s health care reform, the Affordable Care Act of 2010, and is equivalent to more than 1.5 months of premiums. For the average policyholder, this means about $690.
That's not only quite a pleasant Christmas present and economic stimulus for North Carolinians, but significant enough to prompt an excellent White House adventure for this elected state insurance regulator!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin: "Strong Encouragement", Cooperation Led to Historic, Huge NC Health Insurance Refund


North Carolina's state Commissioner of Insurance, Wayne Goodwin, today held a major press conference at his Raleigh office.

Joining him at the surprise press conference was Brad Wilson, CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

Goodwin announced that expert actuaries in his office had discovered and determined, in the course of their regulation of the insurance company, that the federal Affordable Care Act freed up $155.8 million in contract reserves for return to policyholders.
"I strongly encouraged Blue Cross to refund all of the money back to policyholders and, after very thorough and rigorous review and negotiations, the company agreed. I commend Mr. Wilson and the BCBSNC Board of Directors for agreeing with this outcome and also the Department's proposal to reduce the rate filing Blue Cross Blue Shield had made," said Insurance Commissioner Goodwin.
He and Wilson described the day's revelations a "win-win" for policyholders and all involved.

For more information, go to the official press release from North Carolina's Department of Insurance. In part, it said:
The refunds will be issued by the end of the year to policyholders who had Blue Advantage or Blue Options HSA for Individuals policies in force as of March 23, 2010, the date the federal law was enacted. Refunds will be proportional to premiums paid and will be equivalent to more than 1.5 months of premiums. Customers may receive lower or higher amounts depending on their specific premium rates. For example, for an average policyholder's monthly premium of about $380, the refund would be approximately $690.

"I'm pleased that the Department and Blue Cross were able to identify a way for $155.8 million to go back into consumers' wallets," said Commissioner Goodwin. "I'm also glad that we were able to negotiate a lower-than-requested rate adjustment that will save $14.5 million in future premiums for policyholders."
Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin later made it clear that but for this cooperation and decision reached by the insurer and the state agency, there would have been at least two court cases, the result of which would have certainly delayed by years any refund at all.
"Having this refund now is the right thing to do now. Policyholders and households need these significant refunds without any delay," said Goodwin. "I believe our work makes for quite an economic stimulus for the State - $155.8 million is nothing to sneeze at and will help families during the upcoming holiday season and end-of-year bills coming due for hundreds of thousands of Tar Heel consumers."
WUNC Public Radio, State Government Radio, TimeWarner News 14, the Progressive Pulse Blog of NC Policy Watch, the News & Observer, WTVD-Channel 11, WRAL-TV and other media provided various viewspoints throughout the day.

For publication on September 21, USA TODAY reported on another point made by Insurance Commissioner Goodwin:
"I hope other state insurance regulators across the country look into whether these same excess contract reserves exist in the holdings of health insurance companies doing business in their states," he said. "Whether $1 or an historic amount like $155.8 million as in North Carolina, perhaps consumers and policyholders in other states are due refunds, too," Goodwin posited.
And as USA TODAY reported above, "Steve Larsen, who heads insurance oversight at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said there may be others. "I really do think there may be a bigger issue at work here," he said."

North Carolina's insurance chief will ask the 2011 General Assembly for greater regulatory authority regarding health insurance.
"As our elected state Insurance Commissioner,I will continue fighting for stronger consumer protections ... Having these additions tools reinforce the value of state-based insurance regulation over purely federal regulation," concluded Goodwin.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Insurance Commissioner Goodwin: Allstate to Refund $680,000 to Certain Drivers

More than 1,800 North Carolina automobile drivers insured by Allstate will receive refunds totalling $680,000, announced state Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin.

"My expert staff at the Department of Insurance received a complaint from an insured driver and, after digging into the problem very diligently, determined that she was due a refund. Then we pursued our investigation even further and discovered that Allstate had made the same mistake elsewhere. As a result, more than three-quarters of a million dollars will be distributed back to 1,803 drivers in rebates averaging $378 each. Having a state-based insurance regulator and a top-notch investigative team are the cause of this big win for consumers," said Commissioner of Insurance Goodwin.
For further details, go here, here, here, and here.

During the first half of Goodwin's first term, North Carolina consumers have saved more than $645 million due to insurance cuts and refunds.

To contact the Department about your insurance policy questions or any other matter, then call toll-free 800-546-5664 or 919-733-3058 in the Raleigh area.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Meet Insurance Commissioner Goodwin at Upcoming Fundraisers in Raleigh, Asheville, Greensboro


You are cordially invited to the

2nd ANNUAL FALL FUNDRAISER for

NC INSURANCE COMMISSIONER WAYNE GOODWIN

Monday, Sept. 27, 2010
5:30-7:30 pm

Marriott Center City – Downtown Raleigh
Next to Convention Center


Sponsor Levels: $1000 - $500 - $250

General Admission: $100/person


If you're unable to attend, then please consider an online donation of $50 or $25 instead to help Wayne reach his campaign's fundraising goal for the year.

Make your individual personal check or PAC check out to:

The Goodwin Committee
P.O. Box 27841
Raleigh, NC 27611

Or, you may present it at the reception registration table. No corporate, lobbyist, insurance company/insurance industry, or business checks.

Or, you may contribute securely online by clicking here.

* * * * * * * * *

If you cannot attend in Raleigh, you are cordially invited to the

Western North Carolina Salute to

NC INSURANCE COMMISSIONER WAYNE GOODWIN

Monday, Oct. 11, 2010
5:30-7:30 pm

Renaissance Hotel – Downtown Asheville - 31 Woodfin Street

Sponsor Levels: $1000 - $500 - $250

General Admission: $100/person


If you're unable to attend, then please consider an online donation of $50 or $25 instead to help Wayne reach his campaign's fundraising goal for the year.

Make your individual personal check or PAC check out to “The Goodwin Committee”.

Please either return your check by mailing it to
P.O. Box 27841, Raleigh NC 27611 or presenting it at the reception registration table. No corporate, lobbyist, insurance company/insurance industry, or business checks.

Or, you may contribute securely online by clicking here.
For more information, go to www.waynegoodwin.org or call (910)997-1301.

Take either opportunity to meet our State's Commissioner of Insurance.And, please spread the word among fellow professionals, friends, and supporters.

* * * * *

Less than three weeks earlier, supporters of Insurance Commissioner Goodwin will host a Triad Area Fundraiser Reception in Greensboro on September 23rd. For details, please go to this link here.

* * * * *

Paid for and authorized by The Goodwin Committee. Not paid for by government funds or resources. This campaign committee shall NOT intentionally solicit and shall NOT accept contributions from NC lobbyists or insurance industry PACs. If any such person or entity receives notice of this event then it is for information only or is to be completely disregarded.

An Inspirational Story: WRAL-TV Highlights the Perseverance of Gloria Williams in her Fight Against Insurance Giant

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and the Department of Insurance assist almost one hundred thousand North Carolinians every year with insurance complaints and concerns.

However, occasionally consumers fight the fight themselves. Most often they don't win on their own.

But one inspiring example of a consumer who fought an insurance giant and won is at this link to WRAL-TV's special coverage that aired on August 30th.... Or, you can watch the embedded news link accompanying this blog post.
As he told WRAL-TV,
"North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin deals with thousands of insurance complaints every year. He said he knows it can be daunting to face off with a big insurance company, but says Williams' case should serve as an example.

'It’s actually inspiring, encouraging. I’m glad that we had someone like her who did put her foot down and fought on this,' he said. 'Some folks give up, but I hope this is an example of what they should do. And that’s not give up.'”
God bless you, Gloria Williams!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Triad Area (Greensboro/Winston-Salem) Fundraiser for NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin


NC Senator and Mrs. Don Vaughan
cordially invite you
to the


TRIAD AREA FUNDRAISER RECEPTION

for NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin
September 23, 2010 (Thursday)

5:30-7:30 pm

902 Sunset Drive, Greensboro

Sponsorship Levels: $1000 - $500 - $250

Suggested Donation: $100/person

Please make your personal or PAC check out to
"The Goodwin Committee"
and mail to P.O. Box 27841, Raleigh NC 27611;

OR, go online to this link or via www.waynegoodwin.org to make your
secure contribution.

All Sponsors will be recognized at the reception.

For more information, email info@waynegoodwin.org or mberaleigh@gmail.com.
Provided solely by The Goodwin Committee. No government resources were used in this communication or the fundraising reception.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin Welcomes Johnny Gage of "Emergency!" to NC


Insurance Commissioner Goodwin welcomed to North Carolina the one and only Randolph Mantooth, star of the hit 70s show "Emergency!". Mantooth and Goodwin, who also serves as State Fire Marshal, attended last week's N.C. State Firemen's Association and NC Association of Fire Chiefs annual meeting. They also both delivered remarks at the opening ceremony.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Insurance Commissioner Goodwin: NCDOI Awarded $1 Million Grant


Monies Will Be Used to Bolster Consumer Outreach, Rate Reviews, Better Government

North Carolina has been awarded a $1 million grant from the federal government, and NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and his Department team are anxious to use it for enhanced consumer outreach and consumer participation in the review of rate filings by health insurers.
"A little over a month ago, our staff submitted the premium review assistance grant to the federal government. I am pleased that North Carolina was approved for this funding," said Commissioner Goodwin. "The Department of Insurance has a lot of work ahead of us to implement the new federal health care reform initiatives. We will use this federal funding to review our existing procedures, hire new staff and improve consumer outreach specific to approving rate changes to health insurance plans."
Furthermore:
The Department's grant application identified the following measures to improve the rate review process in North Carolina:

Seek outside review of actuarial processes to determine areas of improvement in the process.

Seek additional authority to expand prior rate approval to small and large employer group health and association group health plans via the N.C. General Assembly.

Hire additional staff to accommodate increased rate filings and their review.

Increase transparency and accessibility:

Improve the access and readability of rate filings that are currently posted on the Department's website.

Seek authority via the N.C. General Assembly to require insurers to create consumer-friendly summaries and increased public information for rate filings.

Seek input and consider planning for public comment and public hearings on rate requests.
To learn more, go to this link.

"Not only is this news about 'good government,' it's about better government," said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin: Fraud Fighter and Capeless Crusader

Fighting insurance crime doesn't require a cape and secret identity in North Carolina.

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and his stellar team of sworn law enforcement officers in the Department of Insurance have cracked down on insurance fraud with a vengeance.

Note the reports linked here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. This is merely a representative sample from the last two months.

These results are not surprising in light of both the rise in insurance fraud during economic downturns such as now and the lengthy history of fraud fighting that North Carolina's insurance regulator has had over the years: Goodwin's Criminal Investigations Division is the oldest of its kind in the nation, and celebrates 65 years of service this year.

To date in 2010, Goodwin and his expert criminal investigators have seen more than 165 cases successfully closed with more than $5.8 million in restitution and recoveries, 40 criminal convictions and more than 65 arrests. Last year Goodwin's administration recovered approximately $10.2 million in restitution for North Carolina families and businesses.

It's also important to note that an estimated 10 cents of every dollar paid in premiums goes toward the payment of fraudulent claims. To report suspected fraud, contact the Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.com.

Keep in mind that Insurance Commissioner Goodwin has already been described by an "Under the Dome" blogger for the Raleigh News & Observer in October 2009 as
"apparently an action hero, by elected-official standards."

NC Insurance Commissioner Goodwin, Dept of Insurance Receive National Praise for Coastal Insurance Approach

Recognized as One of Top 3 States to "Get Heads Out of the Sand" and Best Prepared for "the Big One," the next major hurricane hit

Following up on recognition from business, industry, consumer, and political leaders across the United States and especially in the Southeast over the last year, NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and his team of experts received yet another dose of praise this week for their hard on coastal insurance reforms.

In particular, John Lobart penned:
The trade and mainstream press will soon be filled with articles commenting on the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina—the largest insurance event in history and certainly one of the deadliest. Rather than look at the accumulated statistics, I thought it would be interesting to ask the question, “Have the Atlantic and Gulf Coast state insurance markets prepared for the next big hurricane?”

Looking back over the past five years, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina get my vote as states that are clearly better prepared to handle the Big One then they were five years ago. ...

North Carolina pulled its head out of the sand and tackled beach plan reform in 2009. Then newly elected Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin made it clear that it would not be business as usual as it had been under long-time Commissioner Jim Long. Commissioner Goodwin and his staff worked diligently on a beach plan funding compromise guaranteed to make everyone unhappy—and that’s a good thing. The 2009 reform effort included reducing available limits in the Beach Plan (to throw out the wealthiest homes), providing for a huge (but consistently predictable) nonrecoupable assessment upon insurers to fund Beach Plan shortfalls, and providing for surcharges on policyholders statewide if needed to fund the most devastating losses. This last provision was certainly a hard one to sell (especially for an elected Commissioner). But for a state where coastal tourism benefits the entire state, it’s fair. The North Carolina reform law also puts pressure on the Beach Plan board to maintain adequate reinsurance, arguably the number one factor in bringing confidence to the private market as a well-funded residual market significantly reduces the likelihood of post-loss assessments.
Lobart is a legislative and regulatory affairs lawyer whose firm, Lobert Legislative & Regulatory Consulting, provides public policy advice.

"Ultimately," said Commissioner of Insurance Wayne Goodwin, "we have better protected consumers on the coast and beach of the State while preventing a massively unstable insurance market in North Carolina. Doing nothing was not an option, but doing something was not going to be pain-free. We are better prepared, and have enacted mitigation credits, a fairer system that protects the whole state, and a set of reforms that were long overdue."
Through Goodwin's leadership, insurance rates in North Carolina on homeowners' insurance - as well as automobile and workers comp - have remained some of the very best in the nation, especially in the South.

Further, Goodwin has also made a strong policy of greater transparency and public participation in the process of insurance regulation in the Tar Heel state.

Leadership, competence, consumer protection, transparency, public participation, and fair ratemaking are pillars in the Goodwin administration.

* * * * * * * * *
Photo: courtesy NOAA.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

VP Biden Visits Chapel Hill, Inspires Supporters


It's not every day that the Vice President of the United States calls you out specifically by name and encourages folks to applaud.

Well, it happened to me on Thursday, and really made my day!

Governor Bev Perdue,Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (and U.S. Senate candidate), and I were the only statewide elected officials present. Also in attendance at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill were NC House Speaker Joe Hackney, Senate Majority Leader Martin Nesbitt, and Rep. Verla Insko.

As outlined by WRAL-TV and the Raleigh News & Observer, Vice President Joe Biden "deliver[ed] a vigorous defense of the administration's record" and also had the following to say:
“Now that the heavy lifting is over, we can go out and make our case,” Biden said.

The vice president said that the Republicans “are wildly out of step” with popular opinion on a broad range of issues from holding oil companies responsible for cleaning up the spill in the gulf to supporting basic regulations to prevent another meltdown on Wall Street.

“They say they want to put on the brakes,” Biden said. “But they really want to do is throw us in reverse. As the president said, they drove the car in the ditch. ...

Biden said there are limits to what government can do.

“Barack and I are realists. Government is not the answer. But we also know we can plant seeds. These seeds that have been planted have generated whole new industries.”
As 2012 beckons, the recurring visits here by both the President and the Vice President are proof that North Carolina is ground zero as a swing state.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

As July Comes to Close, Goodwin Reflects on Recent Travels


Including Recent Independence Day Events

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin regularly criss-crosses the State, sharing news of the work of his expert team and how together they fight on behalf of consumer protections and fair ratemaking.

Though many pols take parts of the months of June and July off, our insurance regulator didn't slow down.

He visited most corners of the State, including beach, coast, piedmont, foothills, and mountains.

Goodwin was especially energized during his July 4th holiday visits and parades. Southport, Troy, Raleigh, and Ellerbe were among his stops.
"Recalling those long, hot weeks when our Founding Fathers ultimately and articulately declared our national independence - along with the patriotic flourishes resplendent at such events - always give me goosebumps and a greater sense of purpose," said the Commissioner of Insurance.
Southport's revered annual Fourth of July Festival was especially inspiring: Colonia regalia, flag-raising, patriotic speeches, Americana-laden holiday parade, and the like.
"I commend the Mayor and the Southport-Oak Island Chamber of Commerce for doing an excellent job once again this year."
Goodwin also delivered speeches or visited folks in Pinehurst, Smithfield, Charlotte, Monroe, and Greensboro during this time frame.

Goodwin Promotes Long-Term Care Insurance Initiative, Savings for Families and the State


One of Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin's legislative goals in 2010 was North Carolina'a recognition of and passage of the special Long-Term Care Partnership initiative, which provides an incentive for individuals to plan ahead for future long-term care and nursing home care needs while preserving and protecting one's savings and estate for the family from Medicaid spend-down requirements. To learn more, go to this link.

"The bottom line is that this Partnership program will allow our citizens to keep more of what they've earned and saved over the course of their lives, and still be able to meet Medicaid eligibility requirements," added Insurance Commissioner Goodwin.
Another beneficial effect of this program: over time, the State budget will save millions of dollars.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Fundraiser in Pinehurst for NC Insurance Commissioner

Pat and Jody Molamphy
cordially invite you to a

Summer Fundraiser Reception

for

WAYNE GOODWIN
INSURANCE COMMISSIONER

Thursday, August 5, 2010
6:00-8:00 pm

at their home
120 St. Mellions Drive, Pinehurst, NC

Sponsor Levels:
$1000 • $500 • $250
Suggested Contribution: $100

The first five contributions of $1,000
will also receive a room that night at
Pinehurst Hotel & Resort


Make your personal check or PAC check out to
“The Goodwin Committee”or make your donation securely online via www.waynegoodwin.org or this link here.


For more information, email info@waynegoodwin.org.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Capitol Press Corps, John Locke Foundation Make June an Interesting Month for Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin

June has been quite the month.

Personally, I may have transcended to a new level in state politics: For the first time I was the subject of one of the annual press skits performed by the North Carolina Capitol Press Corps ... and was the beneficiary of positive press and analysis by both the Heartland Institute and John Hood of the John Locke Foundation, a somewhat rare feat for a Democrat.

In the skit, one Capitol press reporter portrayed me as a wrestler tangling with fellow political grappler Marc Basnight played by another journalist, with yet a third member of the Fourth Estate serving as the ringside announcer. The premise is that the State of North Carolina is in desperate need of money for the budget hole, and decided that a "main event" between the Dare County Senator and me, as a result of a recent coastal insurance brouhaha, would raise ample funds to help the State's budget.

As for the unexpected praise from both Heartland and Hood's Carolina Journal, it, too, was a result of my focus during the first 18 months of my term on reforming the State's "Beach Plan" coastal insurance problem. John Hood, creatively entitling his column "Good Win for Insurance Reform", cites Eli Lehrer of Heartland who, in turn, writes:

"North Carolina has showed marked improvement over the three years we've calculated this report card. ... [T]here have been real changes thanks, in large part, to insurance commissioner Wayne Goodwin.

North Carolina's state legislature, with the leadership of newly elected Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, enacted major reforms to the state's troubled wind-damage insurance pool. ... its fiscal risks to the state and its insurance industry have been significantly lessened."
And that tops what I learned in May: that a New York Times bestseller references me by name for work I'd done in the legislature.

What would have truly made June a triple-threat? Appearing in a newspaper editorial cartoon! (Or having Ric Flair play me in a sequel to the wrestling skit.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Smithfield Kiwanis Club Welcomes Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin

At the rustic Becky's Log Cabin Restaurant, Smithfield Kiwanians hosted state Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin for its monthly meeting this week.

In addition to praising the Johnston County club's long-time commitment to community service and improving the welfare of children, the statewide elected official presented an overview of how he and the Department of Insurance serve and protect North Carolina consumers. He then fielded questions about the recent federal health insurance reforms, ratemaking, coastal insurance issues and its impact on non-coastal areas, and fighting insurance fraud.

A special message thereafter came to the Department's consumer citizen suggestion box from the Kiwanis of Smithfield:

"Pardon the use of this form, but I wanted to thank Commissioner Goodwin for speaking at our Kiwans Club meeting last night (6-22). I appreciate his taking time to visit and share the various aspects and responsibilities of his job with us.. He did a great job and our folks enjoyed his visit greatly.

Please continue the good work that you are doing for the citizens of our great state. You have our encouragement and support as I'm sure the decisions and passions are high on all issues before you.

Warmest Regards,

Terry Ellis
Vice President
"
The last time Goodwin visited the club was two years ago during his service as Assistant Commissioner. He also has been a Kiwanian in Rockingham and Raleigh since 1992.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Commissioner Wayne Goodwin Orders Increased Mitigation Credits for Homeowners Insurance along the Coast

Commissioner Orders Insurance Companies to Pay Much Larger, Pro-Consumer Credits for Carolina Homeowners.

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced that he has ordered a schedule of mitigation credits for qualifying homeowners insurance policies in North Carolina’s beach and coastal territories. The credits will be effective May 1, 2011 and apply to policies written in the voluntary market and the Beach Plan within the 18 coastal counties. The credits stem from a N.C. Rate Bureau filing required by the 2009 enactment of H.B. 1305 which sought to reform coastal property insurance.

“I’m proud that the Department’s review of the initial filing resulted in larger credits for coastal homeowners than those originally requested,” said Commissioner Goodwin. “Every dollar is important in today’s economic climate, and we wanted to make sure that homeowners will see discounts for the upgrades they have in place to protect their homes.” Homeowners with questions about whether or not their homes qualify for credits should contact their insurance agent and/or company, Goodwin added.
The approved mitigation credits will provide premium discounts for wind and hail coverages on homes with qualifying construction features that help mitigate damage and insurance losses. Different credit levels are available depending on a home’s mitigation qualifications. (Some details are found at the Insurance Journal and the Wilmington Star-News linked here.)

According to the filing language, the largest credits available are for homes that are built in compliance with the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) Fortified New category. IBHS has three additional levels for which a home can be certified for mitigation credits: gold, silver and bronze. Within each of these three levels, credits will depend upon certain roofing standards. In addition to IBHS standards, there will be credits for homes built or retrofitted with certain mitigation features including engineered window shutters, a hip roof or a combination of both.

The charts linked here and also on the Department's website show sample wind and hail premium credits (in dollars) for qualifying mitigation efforts taken on a home valued at $150,000. The first chart shows what the NCRB filed, the second chart shows what the Department of Insurance ordered, and the third chart shows the percentage increase from the initial credits filed to the final credits ordered.

The N.C. Rate Bureau will be establishing standards for certifying homes in accordance with the mitigation credit schedule over the next several months and communicating with insurance carriers and agents, who will relay the process to their policyholders. To determine what credit level for which a home might qualify, consumers should contact their insurance company and/or agent or review the IBHS website.

"This is yet another example of your Department of Insurance working for you, the homeowner," said Goodwin. "Though no written objections were received by the Department to the initial public filing made by the Rate Bureau, it was important to me as our Insurance Commissioner that the maximum justifiable credits be granted - thus, I ordered a larger credit. This is in line with how I've ordered refunds and rate cuts in other lines of insurance purchased by North Carolinians."
The Insurance Commissioner also stated that it was important to approve the best credits possible now and not allow delays because that would have caused homeowners to go without the credits for another hurricane season.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What Are They Smoking in the Eighth Congressional District?

Well, now you know.

With all the national, statewide, and regional headscratching going on about North Carolina politics, namely in the Eighth Congressional District's 2010 Republican primary runoff election, it should come as no surprise that in Richmond County, the heart of the district, Sheriff deputies have discovered 60,000 marijuana plants.

The latest bust of a large field of marijuana by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office yielded more than 26,500 two-to three-foot tall plants, driving the total number of plants seized over the past month to well over 60,000.

“In my 40-year career, this is the most I’ve ever seen being grown in one area, and it means there’s probably a lot more out there that we just haven’t found yet,” Richmond County Sheriff Dale Furr said Friday. “You can see why marijuana has become the number one cash crop in North Carolina.”
Of course, we don't know what South Carolina's excuse is for the Mark Sanford, Nikki Haley, and Alvin Greene episodes!

While the Tar Heel state's political arena deals with allegations of garden-variety marital infidelity and general government corruption, the Palmetto state appears to be indulging in whatever bordering Richmond County has growing in its garden.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Goodwin Reminds Alamance Dems of "Go Forward" Program

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin Provided Keynote Address for Three Governors' Dinner

Last month the state's Insurance Commissioner stoked the fires of Alamance County Democrats, home of not only three Governors of North Carolina but also birthplace of his predecessor in office, the late Jim Long.

Also attending the annual event were Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and former State Senator Cal Cunningham, Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate; former Rep. Bertha "B" Holt, who passed away last week; State Senator Tony Forriest; NC Representative Alice Bordsen; Jessie Rae Scott, the widow of the late Governor Bob Scott; Peg O'Connell, widow of former Insurance Commissioner Jim Long, and countless judges, local officials, precinct leaders, and several hundred Democratic activists.

Goodwin wowed the crowd with his emphasis on how important it is to "tune in (to what's happening), turn up (the volume), and turn out (the vote)", a theme he has shared at multiple partisan events statewide.

Another theme of Goodwin appeared when he also explained his concerns about how certain right-wing ideologues were fomenting insurrection and eroding an already degraded level of civil political discourse.

Most interesting were the words of former North Carolina Governor Kerr Scott - father of Governor Bob Scott - that Goodwin shared with the crowd:
"Man never solves a problem by standing still - when a man stands still, the world goes on and leaves him behind. North Carolina has grown great because the leadership of North Carolina, throughout the years, has been inspired to press ever forward toward the goal of providing, within the ability of the people to pay for them, the maximum governmental services and facilities which are the heritage and right of a people who enoy the privilege of living under the banner of democracy.

Refusing to move forward and to meet our responsibilities of the present and of the future is nothing short of defeatism. I have no patience with this philosophy - call it conservatism, hold the line, or what you may say!

I do not believe that the people of North Carolina are so morally, spiritually or financially bankrupt that they want education in North Carolina to slip backward. I do not believe that the people of North Carolina want to deny adequate hospital care for the sick and the cripple, support for the aged, and adequate institutional care for the insane, the blind, and the deaf.

... I have talked with rich men and poor men, with farmers and with those who live in the cities and towns, with men, women, and children in all walks of life; and the overwhelming majority of them believe in the future and share the conviction that North Carolina should not throttle the future by a perverted hold the line interpretation.

In some cases the hold the line school of defeatism is actually seeking to establish a line behind the present line. Such would be the case if we failed to consolidate the gains already accomplished in the field of education."
"Those words - those principles of Scott's Go Forward plan - are most prescient and timeless," said Goodwin. "Education is the roadmap of going forward - the key to success - for our State."

Kinston, Lenoir County Welcome Goodwin to Groundbreaking


State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin Delivers Remarks for New Woodmen of the World Community Center

Yesterday the town of Kinston and Lenoir County joined Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and State Auditor Beth Wood at the groundbreaking for a new community center. With a massive American flag displayed behind them in the blazing midday sun, the special guests and local officials each waxed eloquent on how the $6 million investment will refurbish and re-energize an area buffeted like others from the recent economic downturn.

Joining them were Chamber of Commerce leaders, State Representative Van Braxton, former and current employees of Smithfield Foods, and many area citizens.

For more coverage, go to today's article in The Kinston Free Press, linked here.

Commissioner Goodwin's brief remarks honed in on a key tenet of the celebration.

Thank you, Kinston and Lenoir County, and our Woodmen of the World organization, for inviting me to be here this morning!

Yes, indeed, it is a grand occasion and an honor to be part of this groundbreaking ceremony.

As a member of the Council of State, and as a fellow Woodman, I am proud of what this new facility is about.

But, it is more than that: This new facility underscores and epitomizes what Woodmen are all about - before, ever, and always: faith and family, children and youth, community and country.
Our Woodmen of the World are dedicated to each.

And as state Insurance Commissioner I also want to share with you that our Woodmen of the World here in North Carolina, a fraternal organization regulated in part by my office, holds a special place in the hearts of employees of the Department of Insurance.

On behalf of the great State of North Carolina and her people, thank you to all who have helped make this dream come true. And may God continue to bless Kinston, Lenoir County and eastern North Carolina.
This is the second time in less than two months that Goodwin made an official visit to Kinston: He threw the ceremonial first pitch for a game of the Kinston Indians baseball team this season.

Without a doubt, Goodwin is a strong proponent of Eastern North Carolina, stretching back throughout his many years in the North Carolina General Assembly and as a statewide elected official.