Gene Nichol’s Sept. 14 Point of View “ The people Medicaid could save,” regarding why North Carolina must expand Medicaid, couldn’t be any clearer. The regressive and mean-spirited political actions by Speaker Thom Tillis and Gov. Pat McCrory blocking expansion in hopes to secure votes this November is reminiscent of the politics of George Wallace.
The moral imperative of saving thousands of our neighbors’ lives who are now dying shows that he truly values life. Denying access to health care to 500,000 North Carolina residents who are our waiters and waitress, who look after our children and provide other valuable services is reprehensible. The economic imperative is also a no-brainer.
Other states have reported saving hundreds of millions of dollars, stopping hospitals from closing – that affects us all, finally ending the $1,000 per family, cost-shifting hidden tax (higher insurance premiums to pay for uncompensated care), and the economic benefit list goes on. This cost-shifting tax should now be called the Tillis Ignorance Tax.
We all remember the picture of former Alabama Gov. Wallace standing in the doorway of public schools denying educational access. Now we have a new picture: Tillis and McCrory standing in the doorway of public hospitals blocking the access of 500,000 North Carolinians to better health care.
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The writer was the executive director of Illinois’ largest health care coalition, Campaign for Better Health Care, for 26 years before recently moving to North Carolina.