Winston-Salem Journal reader and letter to the editor writer Wendy Marshall had some powerful words for North Carolina Senate President Pro Tem and Medicaid expansion opponent Phil Berger (pictured at left) today. Marshall’s pointed comments came in response to a recent WRAL.com editorial (rerun by the Journal) entitled “The cost of not expanding Medicaid.” As the editorial notes, the hospital in Berger’s hometown of Eden is now on “life-support” as the result of North Carolina’s failure to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Here’s Marshall’s letter:
Like his Republican companions in the state legislature, Senate leader Phil Berger was willing to let his hometown hospital in Eden go bankrupt rather than expand Medicaid under Obamacare (“The cost of not expanding Medicaid,” journalnow.com, July 17).
The hospital is the largest employer in Eden. Jobs will be lost, bills will go unpaid and it’s likely that people will die, largely because of the legislature’s insistence on letting our federal tax dollars go to people in other states, all so they can say they fought Obamacare.
I wish I could ask Berger to his face: Is it worth it?
Several rural hospitals in the state have closed since the legislature refused to expand Medicaid. And yet the legislature complains that rural areas aren’t getting enough resources. We also know that the opioid crisis has hit rural areas hard. Refusing to expand Medicaid makes no sense.
I can’t shake the feeling that there’s some underlying motive behind today’s conservatives’ insistence on undermining government on every level and sacrificing every common good we share, all for the holy cause of more tax cuts for the rich.
Is there? Is there something they’re not telling us?
How much evidence do conservatives need before they understand that their elected representatives mean them no good?
Wendy Marshall, Winston-Salem“