I am a family physician, and I am writing on behalf of my patients to urge the General Assembly to expand Medicaid. I see patients every day who delay essential healthcare because they are not insured, cannot afford the care they need and fear crippling medical debt. Last week, I saw a patient with leg swelling that I was concerned could represent a blood clot. She would not have an ultrasound that day, even after I explained that early diagnosis and treatment could be lifesaving. She was weighing the potential risk to her life against the consequences of not paying for her family’s basic needs. If we expanded Medicaid, she would not face this impossible choice.
Research has consistently shown improved health outcomes in states that have expanded Medicaid. Medicaid expansion has been associated with health benefits across generations, including lower rates of maternal deaths, a 50% greater reduction in infant mortality, and better access to care for women before and after pregnancy. Additionally, Medicaid expansion has been associated with reduced racial disparities in timely cancer care. My patients deserve better. Medicaid expansion in North Carolina is long overdue, and the General Assembly should act now.
Narges Farahi, MD
More than pro-birth
I was saddened to see Billy Maddalon’s column reiterate worn-out arguments against the pro-life movement (“Pro-life should be more than pro-birth,” May 29). The pro-life people I know are deeply committed to whole life: adoption, caring for disabled children, supporting single moms, caring for the poor.
With respect to forcing others to follow our religious beliefs, that is a canard. My religion prohibits murder, theft, child abuse. At least from the moment a child can feel pain, advocating for laws to protect that child is not a religious opinion but simply a matter of justice and human rights. To argue that the child is not a human being is simply to echo the oppression of the past. Slaves were said not to be full human beings, so were native Americans, so were women. Need we repeat these mistakes?
Since retiring after having served 22 years on the UNC faculty, I have been able to purchase two cars, both of them hybrids. The federal government rewarded new hybrid owners with rebates to encourage reducing polluting emissions. Aging often brings unexpected changes, and now my bride of 56 years dwells in the care of an assisted living facility that, even with insurance, drains several thousand every month from our modest savings.
Now our elected state representatives are proposing two blows to our declining financial health — a $230 annual punishment for owning a hybrid vehicle and a reduction in a cost-of-living adjustment to my state pension. This is how the North Carolina thanks its faithful servants. This one respectfully urges legislators to use some imagination and compassion and find ways to right these wrongs.
Raleigh C. Mann
Senate Bill 559
Duke Energy’s Senate Bill 559 is indeed a Trojan Horse (oped June 1). The bill – which could be worth tens of billions for Duke – is as lousy as the deceptive process pushing it forward.
Duke loaded the bill with complexity so neither legislators nor the public can track the rip-off. It’s quite telling that every stakeholder group opposes the bill – business big and small, consumer, clean energy and environmental justice groups.
In fact, the only supporters are a few powerful legislators who sold their colleagues on Duke’s ludicrous claim that the bill would help electricity ratepayers. Virginia’s former Republican attorney general warned NC legislators that, under a similar power grab, utilities overcharged Virginia customers more than $1 billion.
This bill would help Duke Energy lock in its massive expansion of climate-wrecking fracked gas, keep driving up rates and keep blocking competition from cheaper renewable energy.
If SB 559 passes, it will confirm what NC WARN and other Energy Justice Coalition members exposed last month: Duke’s campaign money and lucrative private work for legislative cronies continue to pollute our state.
Voters across the political spectrum must demand our elected officials reject this ratepayer rip-off. It’s time to end the Duke Energy monopoly.
The May 24 editorial “Wake taxpayers are willing to pay for a quality county” was a bit erroneous. We don’t have much choice. If you don’t pay these taxes, you lose your property. I want to pay higher taxes like I need a hole in my head. If anyone says they are willing to pay them, then that must be their problem.
William K. Davis