• Jeffrey Zalles

Medicaid shame.

The following was ghost-written for Tom Sapp, Brunswick County Democratic Party Chair:

Re: Dosher, other hospitals ask legislators for Medicaid expansion.

Anyone who has experienced a serious illness, or watched a loved one suffer from one, knows that during those difficult times nothing is more central to our existence than our health. All those things that seemed so important like our jobs, where we live, what we drive, our weekend plans, suddenly become petty and irrelevant. That’s why I was disappointed, or should I say appalled, to read that during a round-table discussion on Medicaid expansion with rural hospital executives, Rep. Frank Iler and Sen. Bill Rabon stated that they consider health care “just one item of many on their plates.” In other words, our representatives are too busy to deal with the plights of thousands of their constituents who do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford decent coverage on their own. They are too busy to help our hospitals survive the onslaught of patients who they must treat without reimbursement. They are too busy to accept money from the federal government that would not only help those in desperate need but create thousands of jobs and ensure the survival of rural hospitals like Dosher that we may not be able to live without – literally.

Let’s be honest. It’s not about being too busy. Republican legislators’ blind loathing of anything created by the Obama administration outweighs any compassion they may have for their constituents. Refusing billions of dollars from the federal government that would benefit our communities is unconscionable. I understand that hospital officials need to be diplomatic when dealing with legislators but the rest of us do not.

Shame on you, Frank Iler. Shame on you, Bill Rabon.