North Carolinians speak up, thank the state Senate for action on Medicaid expansion

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In the aftermath of the recent overwhelming vote by the North Carolina Senate to make North Carolina the 39th state to expand Medicaid, average North Carolinians have been speaking up all across the state to express their approval and thanks for what is a long overdue and quite possibly life saving action.

Below are just a few of the representative expressions of approval and gratitude we’ve received at the North Carolina Justice Center’s Health Advocacy Project:

Thank you, Senator Chuck Edwards, for supporting legislation to expand Medicaid in North Carolina. Following a stroke, my friend, eventually lost her job as a paralegal during her lengthy recovery. She could not get coverage under Obamacare because she made too little to get a subsidy and did not qualify for Medicaid. She fell into the Coverage Gap.

This year, North Carolina can help 600,000 North Carolinians who find themselves in the Gap get the health insurance they need. Thirty-eight states have already expanded Medicaid, including Republican-led states like Ohio and Oklahoma. By doing so, these states have been able to stabilize their private health insurance costs and lower healthcare costs for everyone. Health insurance benefits people of all ages.

Pregnant women who get regular prenatal care have less pregnancy-related complications, less infant and maternal mortality, and higher birth weights for their babies, especially in families who are Black or Brown. Their children get a better start in life. Insurance coverage for small business owners and their employees makes for healthier staff and less time out of work. Medicaid Expansion decreases premature death for older adults aged 55-64, through early detection and treatment of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Congress is offering NC nearly $2 billion incentive to expand Medicaid.

We cannot wait any longer. Join me in urging NC House of Representatives to follow the NC Senate’s lead to pass Medicaid Expansion and support an end to our state’s coverage gap once and for all.

Adrienne Hollifield
Black Mountain


I commend the NC Senate for passing Medicaid expansion after all these years. Now it is up to the NC House to take advantage of this unique opportunity to expand Medicaid which would strengthen rural hospitals, give over 600,000 North Carolinians health coverage and pull in $1.7 Billion dollars in federal funds.

As a health care provider I have personally known of two situations in which my patients were unable to afford their chronic disease medications. Read more

The elephant in the room that’s destroying family farms, rural communities and our democracy

The author says that a food system controlled by farmers and consumers, would not be putting multinational corporate profits over people, the environment and our national security (Photo by Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch).

I love farming and have been doing it all my life, but I told my kids not to come back to the farm, because there’s no future in it. That’s the sad truth.

Over the last year on Capitol Hill, there have been multiple hearings and bills and even an executive order to address what is going on out here in rural America, but little to nothing is getting done. For the last three decades, roughly 40 U.S. family cattle operations have gone out of business every day. It’s time to end the talk and campaigning and actually fix the problem.

I’m 66 and a 4th generation cattle and grain farmer from southwest Missouri. Even though it’s sometimes difficult and dangerous work, I’ve always loved raising cattle and crops and making the land better for the next generation — and better for my kids and grandkids to come back to.

But, things have changed, and not for the better. They aren’t changing because of inevitability or technological efficiency. There’s a very large “elephant in the room” that’s making it worse for all of us.

The predominant system of agriculture I am working in now has been intentionally set up against me and current and future farming generations. Today’s corporate controlled system is bad for farmers, bad for consumers, bad for rural and urban communities and economies, bad for our environment and our climate, and bad for democracy.

We are in this position because the rules (laws, policies and regulations) have been written, and lobbied and paid for by corporate special interests. We are in this position because of corporate-written, bad Farm Bills and bad trade agreements (the main drivers of our farm and food system).

We are here because many of our elected “representatives” don’t really represent us, their constituents or the vast majority of Americans. We’re here because we have a democratic process controlled by that “elephant in the room”–billion dollar multinational corporations.

They are planning and implementing our demise. It’s their business model. Without competition, they can push everyone else out of the market, then they win and take all the wealth (and land). Read more

Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards reminds us what heroism looks like

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was the first law enforcement officer injured by rioters storming the Capitol grounds on January 6, testifies during a hearing by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 09, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Long after Trump takes his place among history’s reviled strongmen, Caroline Edwards’ courage will be celebrated and remembered

Every Republican who’s ever denied, or tried to minimize, the hideously destructive reality of the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, should be required to sit and listen to the testimony of Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards.

And if it takes strapping them into a chair, and propping their eyelids open, “A Clockwork Orange” style, then so be it.

In riveting testimony last Thursday night, in a tone that never rose beyond calm professionalism, Edwards told the U.S. House Select Committee, and a nationwide television audience, that the violence was “something like I had seen out of the movies.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes, Edwards, 31, said, according to the Washington Post. “There were officers on the ground. They were bleeding. They were throwing up … I saw friends with blood all over their faces. I was slipping in people’s blood.”

Slipping in people’s blood. Let that sink in for a minute. That’s not hyperbole. That’s the horrifying reality that Edwards and other law enforcement officers who were defending the seat of American democracy faced on that tragic day; a day that cost some of her colleagues their lives.

The same Republicans who solemnly lectured the rest of us that Blue Lives mattered during our summer of civil rights unrest in 2020, should be required to answer, specifically, why these same blue lives do not matter now. They should be required to explain, in the well of the U.S. House and Senate, how they justified dismissing the marauding band behind the attempted coup on Jan. 6 2021, as “tourists.”

Because there is no explanation that justifies what happened that day. Read more

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Hot girl walkin’

Leave it to TikTok to make something as ordinary as taking a walk around the neighborhood sound almost edgy. The “hot girl walk” is officially a TikTok craze. It’s a dubious honor. Last year, hordes of  young folks shocked their parents and orthodontists with another TikTok craze: filing their teeth to look like vampires. Turns out they just looked like IDIOTS.

TikTok isn’t always weird and harmful to your enamel. Much of the time it’s just derivative and unfunny. Which is how less evolved types might describe this column so, yeah, there’s that.

Freezing honey in plastic bottles and then posting videos showing you drinking it at the squishy stage? Just stop. Climbing pyramids of carelessly stacked milk crates? Wake me up for the inevitable compound fracture. Now THAT’s interesting.

The “hot girl walk” was recently detailed in, of all things, “Parade” magazine which may have just officially ended the trend’s hotness. It’s off brand to read about hotness between ads for big-button cell phones, limited-edition pennies worth, uhhh, a penny, and vinegar “cures” for arthritis, am I right?

But let’s not hate on “Parade,” even though it’s admittedly one of my favorite things to do, and turn our attention to Mia Lind, the perky 22-year-old who “invented” walking while hot. Mia is adorably earnest as she explains the three rules of hot girl walk. And, no, they aren’t “You do not talk about hot girl walk.”

Mia explains a hot girl walk is different from a regular walk because you are only allowed to think about three things: what you’re grateful for (nice), goals you’d like to achieve (motivating) and how hot you are (wait; what?).

This is all well and good if you look like Mia Lind but for the rest of us, that last one could devolve into “I’m hot! This is a hot girl walk and I’m really hot! Nope. My bad. Just under-boob sweat…” And from there, self-loathing and questioning taking advice from anyone who has never experienced the heartbreak of thigh chafing.

Lind herself completes a four-mile hot girl walk most days. Whoa. I can’t drive that far without getting tired. So, yeah. Ima change that to, say, one mile, because that’s one of my personal goals!

The premise that you can only think about three things is completely unrealistic. Here’s how that would work for me…

OK, powerful hot girl jammin’ and empowering tunes? Check! Peppy new really old hot girl floral skort from Costco? Check! Willingness to embrace my long dormant or possibly never existed hot-girl attitude? Mmmmkay.

And we’re off! I’m going to think about all the things I’m grateful for. Wait! Got one! I’m grateful the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial is finally over. Alternately gripping and gross, the trial desperately needed a shot clock for the dull parts. At those times, I could only gaze in wonder at that weird Medusa coil Amber had winding around her skull like it was a living, breathing thing. Did she just discreetly feed it a Chee-to? If you’re wondering exactly how shallow I am to fixate on best supporting hair, the answer is “very.”

OK, next up: Achieving goals.

Well, that’s easy. I want someone to look at me the way Johnny Depp’s lawyer looked at him, and he at her. It’s the same way I look at an expertly made banana pudding.

And now I’m starving. I’m grateful I’ve only walked a few yards. I kinda hate Mia right now. She says the true hot girl keeps her shoulders back and stride purposeful. You must not slouch or look as if you don’t think you are fierce.

I’m determined to keep this up because the idea behind it is solid. Unless, of course, Mia says I’d be even more fierce with fangs.

Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Write her at [email protected]


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