North Carolina must pass Medicaid expansion

To the editor:

North Carolina needs to pass clean Medicaid expansion.

When it comes to health insurance, North Carolina has the sixth largest uninsured population in the nation.

Who would benefit directly from Medicaid expansion? People who work one or even two jobs but don’t make enough money to afford healthcare or qualify for Medicaid under North Carolina’s eligibility rules; or earn too little to purchase coverage plans using subsidies from the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).

That would include at least 2,549 in Haywood County — in North Carolina, half a million people. By expanding Medicaid, our communities could bring health benefits to fast food and restaurant employees, retail workers, cleaning and maintenance workers, production workers, construction laborers, veterans, our friends, our neighbors, ourselves.

Passing clean Medicaid expansion legislation is currently being considered in Raleigh (HB5 and SB3). Not only would it help those who are currently uninsured, it would strengthen our communities through better health care.

For example, Medicaid expansion would help fight the opioid crisis by expanding and/or maintaining access to addiction treatment.

North Carolina had the second highest increase in overdose deaths in the country in 2017. And our rural hospitals would get a financial boost. Five rural hospitals have recently shuttered their doors and eight more are at risk of financial distress.

New businesses would be more interested in investing in our communities. Estimates tell us that Medicaid expansion in Haywood County could create 115 jobs, $54,500,000 in new business activity and $767,000 in new tax revenue.

Ninety percent of the funding for expansion would come from taxes we already pay.

The cost of expansion would almost immediately be recouped by the jobs produced, by decreasing uncompensated costs to hospital emergency rooms, and by increased business activity and tax revenue.

We could lower costs even more and help more people if we also reduce unnecessary administrative hurdles such as excessive reporting requirements by passing the clean Medicaid expansion bill.

Please join Down Home NC of Jackson County and Indivisible Common Ground WNC at a nonpartisan rally to support clean Medicaid expansion at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at 500 Mill St. in Sylva.

Chelsea White Clyde

More to the story

To the editor:

Although I do not know all of the specifics (in the Wadham domestic dispute), I do know that the courts would not give a domestic protective order without sufficient evidence.

The husband not only violated that order, but also had a “deadly weapon” and a “break and entering” after being given the protective order.

I do not condone Mrs. Wadham’s soliciting someone to harm or kill her husband, and I do not know what the marriage relationship was like behind closed doors.

Her actions do tell me that there was desperation and fear, thinking this was her only option, which of course is never an option.

I also know there are women who wait for the courts and police to protect them and because of the legal guidelines or time frames fall through the cracks and end up murdered.

So let’s not jump to conclusions, but let us also remember that those cases that end up being resolved in funeral homes cannot be tolerated.

Yvonne Gilbert Waynesville

Partisan letter needs a dose of truth

To the editor:

A letter published in “The Mountaineer” (2-1-19) desperately seeking funding for a wall was so filled with fantasy and partisan views it deserves another view or two.

The writer gleefully states that 158,000 illegal immigrants were arrested in 2018, 90 percent with criminal convictions, nearly 6,000 of whom were known/suspected gang members.

He provides no evidence whatsoever to support these claims.

He fails to state that the ‘criminal convictions’ include stuff like stop sign violations (if you have brown skin) and the always-good ‘failure to leave the country after being ordered to.’

To be clear, that is failure to leave a country many have called their home for 20-plus years. Where would they go?

So, my suggestion would be to take your racism back to the 19th century where it was appreciated. Oh, the 19th century. Wasn’t that when we grabbed a large chunk of Mexican territory, and the folks living/working there suddenly became American citizens.

Isn’t that interesting. That means that most Mexicans living in the U.S. today were originally Mexican citizens who woke one morning and found that they were American citizens. And few racists have ever since been yelling for them ’to go back to Mexico.’

The surprises never end if we know a little history.

The writer states the that Democratic party (the whole party) wants to let everyone in with no vetting and then provide free services. Actually, the Democrats (in Congress) have offered billions for border security (just no funds for a useless wall).

The fact is, the majority of undocumented folks are here because they have overstayed their visas. A few walk from Guatemala and other violence prone areas to begin a life free of violence and bloodshed. They come with kids carrying teddy bears.

Even if you build a wall 500 feet high, they can still tunnel under it. And the drones which deliver millions of dollars in drugs every day can still soar over such a beautiful wall. The folks who overstay their visas, of course, find the wall rather irrelevant.

If the writer (and others) truly cared about America, our country, he would be eager to learn why millions of Americans are numbing themselves with illicit drugs; thus creating this billion dollar monster enterprise.

Instead he spends energy to detain teddy bear-totting children and to deport folks who have lived peacefully in this country for many years.

Another suggestion, if you are truly worried about refugees, you could build a 50-foot wall around your property, complete with a moat and an alligator or two.

Bring back the 16th century. The fun never stops.

Paul Strop Waynesville

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