No matter how many hours she works each day or how hard she tries Aldona Wos can’t seem to catch a break.
Almost as soon as she took her job (as Secretary of Health and Human Services) she got flattened by two budget overruns. Then she got run over by two more multi-million dollar train-wrecks called NC FAST and NCTracks. Then she woke up one morning and opened the newspaper and found she’d landed right in the middle of the front page for hiring two twenty-four year-old campaign aides (to Governor McCrory) and paying them $85,000 and $87,500 each. Then she hired two consultants for $25,000 a month each and landed on the front page again.
All said, it looked pretty bleak.
But there is a subtler side to wrestling the gremlins in the Department of Health and Human Services.
Aldona Wos is a doctor. But, unlike modern medicine, modern government doesn’t run on logic – it runs on the antithesis of logic: Politics. To a doctor cutting Medicaid may look like an exercise in logic and reason but when you add in politics it’s the equivalent of wading into a pit of alligators.
Dr. Wos had her first encounter with a political alligator – and that’s when she decided to stop talking to reporters. That left Governor McCrory to step into the breach which turned out to be like sending the general into battle in front of the infantry. The Governor, and not the Cabinet Secretary, limped away from the alligator pit with sagging approval ratings.
Politics may not be exactly logical but common sense will avoid most problems: If you’re innocent you stand up, look your accuser in the eye, and set him straight. If you’re guilty you confess you made a mistake – and people are more forgiving than you’d expect.
You don’t sulk and say, I’m not going to talk to those nasty, mean ole reporters anymore.
Medicaid is a fiasco. Reforming Medicaid could save millions. And by now Aldona Wos has a pretty interesting story to tell about wrestling alligators. Why not, the next time a reporter calls, lend the Governor a hand by telling it?