Michael Tomsic

Reporter

Michael Tomsic became a full-time reporter for WFAE in August 2012. Before that, he reported for the station as a freelancer and intern while he finished his senior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He’s covered everything from a U.S. presidential visit and a shortage of life-saving cancer drugs to a college football scandal and a cutting-edge art exhibit. Michael has interned with Weekends on All Things Considered in Washington, D.C., where he contributed to the show’s cover stories, produced interviews with Nas and Branford Marsalis, and reported a story about a surge of college graduates joining the military. At UNC, he was the managing editor of the student radio newscast, Carolina Connection. He got his start in public radio as an intern with WHQR in Wilmington, N.C., where he grew up.

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Health
3:24 pm
Wed June 10, 2015

NC House Considers Giving Doctors And Hospitals More Responsibility Over Medicaid

Leaders on health policy in the North Carolina House are pushing their version of a bill to overhaul the state's most expensive health care program: Medicaid. The lawmakers rolled out the bill in committee Wednesday.

House leaders want to overhaul Medicaid by putting groups of doctors and hospitals in charge of managing the program. The state would give them a set amount of money based on who they treat, and the doctors would face financial penalties or rewards based on how they do. 

Republican Representative Nelson Dollar is one of the bill's sponsors. 

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Politics
3:11 pm
Thu June 4, 2015

Governor McCrory Explains Why He'll Sign New Abortion Regulations

Credit Governor's office

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory explained Thursday why he does not think that signing new abortion regulations violates a campaign promise.

When McCrory was a candidate for governor, a moderator asked him this question during a debate:

"If you're elected governor, what further restrictions on abortion would you agree to sign? I'll start with you, Mr. McCrory," she said.

"None," McCrory replied.

But a bill passed this week will be the second one restricting abortions that McCrory will sign. 

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Health
8:55 pm
Mon June 1, 2015

NC Insurers Propose Substantial Premium Increases On Obamacare Exchange

Credit Alan Cleaver / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

In North Carolina, health insurance companies are planning to raise average premiums between 11 and 26 percent next year on the Affordable Care Act exchange or marketplace.

The state's dominant insurance company, BlueCross BlueShield, wants to raise average premiums about 26 percent – almost twice as much as last year's increase.   

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Health
9:24 am
Mon June 1, 2015

NC Mayor Walks To Washington (Again) To Advocate For Rural Hospitals

Credit Kaiser Health News

On Monday morning, a mayor in eastern North Carolina will begin walking to Washington, D.C, to highlight the challenges facing rural hospitals. Adam O'Neal is mayor of the small town of Belhaven, where the only hospital closed about a year ago.

After a heart attack or other health care emergency, the time it takes to get to a hospital can mean the difference between life and death.

Mayor Adam O'Neal says for the roughly 1,600 residents of Belhaven, "you have to go 30 miles on country roads for emergency care."

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Local News
10:21 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Mecklenburg County Manager Proposes Steady Property Tax Rate

County commissioners chat before the manager recommends her new budget.
Credit Michael Tomsic

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio recommends that the county’s property tax rate stays the same next year. Diorio released her recommended budget Thursday. Unlike the city of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County is not dealing with a significant budget hole.

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Local News
3:52 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Federal Government Warns NC Again About Food Stamp Delays

Credit pengrin / Flickr

The federal government is once again warning North Carolina about delays in processing food stamp applications. It's the state health department's latest headache related to NC FAST, an online processing system for food stamps and other public assistance.

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Energy & Environment
9:29 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Gas-Guzzling NASCAR Takes Green Initiatives To Heart

A pit crew member rolls containers of ethanol-blended fuel toward the racetrack.
Credit Michael Tomsic

When you think "environmentally friendly," NASCAR is probably not the first thing that comes to mind.

After all, burning fuel is a fundamental part of stock car racing. But NASCAR, like other pro sports, is trying to decrease its carbon footprint. Some of those initiatives will be on display at the Coca-Cola 600 this weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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Health
1:31 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

NC, Other States Suing 'Phony' Cancer Charities

North Carolina leaders are calling out several cancer charities that barely used any of the money they raised to actually benefit cancer victims. Attorney General Roy Cooper and Secretary of State Elaine Marshall announced Tuesday they're part of a lawsuit against what they call "phony" charities. 

Secretary Marshall says government leaders "are sending the message to those trying to rip-off the giving public that we can find you, shut you down, and take you to court."

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Health
5:31 am
Fri May 15, 2015

Medicaid Gap Steers More Patients To Community Health Centers

From left: Nancy Hudson and other staff at Charlotte Community Health Clinic.
Credit Michael Tomsic

In Charlotte and across the country, there’s a growing need at community health centers. They treat patients regardless of their ability to pay. And the increased need is a surprising result to some clinic leaders, who thought the Affordable Care Act would mean fewer people needing charity care.

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Health
4:17 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

NC Nursing Homes Rate Poorly

Credit kff.org

North Carolina has some of the worst rated nursing homes in the country. A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation released Thursday shows the federal government gave more than 40 percent of the state's nursing homes one or two star ratings.

Nine nursing homes in the Charlotte area received the lowest possible rating, one star:

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