Letters To The Editor: Medicaid, Voter ID and Social Awareness

Letters To The Editor: Medicaid, Voter ID and Social Awareness
July 02
00:00 2015

McCrory, N.C. officials, expand Medicaid now

To the Editor:

This morning [June 25], the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act allows the government to provide nationwide tax subsidies to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance.

Gov. Pat McCrory told the Associated Press in February that he would wait until this decision before acting to expand Medicaid in North Carolina. NC NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II has issued the following statement:

Because Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly have refused to expand Medicaid for more than two years, thousands of people in North Carolina have died or have not had access to necessary screenings, medications, or treatments. Their refusal amounts to a modern-day form of Interposition and Nullification.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s second vindication of the Affordable Care Act, there remains no question that it is time for Gov. Pat McCrory, Senate leader Phil Berger, Speaker Tim Moore and the rest of the General Assembly to do what is right and expand Medicaid in North Carolina.

The Affordable Care Act is here to stay, and North Carolina should take advantage of this increased access to healthcare for those who otherwise cannot afford it.
Expanding Medicaid in North Carolina would:

*Extend coverage to about 500,000 low-income North Carolinians.

*Create 43,000 jobs in the state.

*Create nearly $1 billion in new tax revenue by 2020.

*Increase business activity in the state by over $20 billion by 2020.

By contrast, continuing to turn down these federal funds means:

*27,044 diabetics not receiving necessary medications.

*40,000 women not receiving recommended preventive screenings.

*14,776 more families receiving catastrophic medical bills.

*More than 1,000 unnecessary deaths.

We therefore call on Governor McCrory and the General Assembly to put aside petty partisan politics and do what is best for North Carolina by expanding Medicaid now.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
President, N.C. NAACP
Working in Raleigh

Revisions help Voter ID law, but it should be struck down

To the Editor:

On the heels of hundreds of citizen complaints at voter ID hearings across the state, and after years of mounting public and legal pressure, we are pleased that the N.C. General Assembly has decided to modify the needless voter ID hurdle that North Carolina voters will face starting in 2016.

Even if just 1 percent of registered voters do not have, or forget to bring, an acceptable government photo ID, that would mean over 60,000 North Carolinian would be cheated out of having their voices heard in an election.

The new provisions add a measure of protection for legitimate voters, a back-up way to provide documentation or confidential data that verify the person at the poll is the voter. They still require the extra time and uncertainty of filling out a provisional ballot, but that’s better than being forced to make two trips to a polling place.

In the context of a needless and likely unconstitutional law, this is clearly a victory for citizens and citizen participation. During his comments about HB-836, Rep. David Lewis acknowledged the importance of citizen voices at the recent voter ID rule-making public hearings across the state. Democracy North Carolina played a leading role in encouraging hundreds of citizens to attend and speak out at these hearings, and we will continue to work hard to make sure no one is blocked from voting.

Two other points about the changes are vitally important. First, most states that have ID provisions include versions of the back-up protections adopted; not including them threatened to sink the entire ID requirement in a fair court of law.

Second, other provisions remain in the anti-voter Monster Law that are already denying honest citizens their right to vote. {Last month] Democracy NC released a report that identified 2,344 voters whose ballots were rejected in 2014 because of changes made by that law; their ballots would have counted in 2012. They are the visible tip of the iceberg of the tens of thousands of voters harmed by the many parts of the Monster Law.

We hope that these other measures, along with the convoluted ID requirement, will soon be struck down in court – particularly the elimination of same-day registration, pre-registration for teens and out-of-precinct provisional ballots.

Bob Hall
Democracy North Carolina

Socially aware citizens needed to fight racism

To the Editor:

In wake of the death of the Charleston-9 shooting, the Student Government Association of Winston-Salem State University calls for an embodiment of social justice and social consciousness within our campus and Winston-Salem community.

If this wasn’t in itself a tragedy for the African-American community, it now hits close to home. One of the victims of the Charleston shooting is Cynthia Hurd, the aunt of former WSSU Student Government Association Attorney General Cortney Graham. Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences are with her family and the other victim’s families. The community at large was deeply awoken by this tragedy, and the need for support, love and resilience within the African-American community is at an all time high.

This is a tragedy that reminds us of the long lasting oppression the minority community faces with racial profiling, police brutality and the attempt to devalue Black Lives.

We as members of the Student Government Association would like to educate and motivate our people to become socially aware citizens.  Our goal is to build a culture of people in Winston-Salem that understands the importance of civic engagement and the power of voting. Every citizen of Winston-Salem should understand their voice matters and that they have a stake in the modification and revision of a community, state and nation that is plagued by the sinister camouflage of systematic racism. We live in a state where extremist policies and immoral acts of the legislature cause us as African-Americans to be at a disadvantage in our everyday life. We face the terrors of the new Voter ID law in House Bill 589 and the expansion of Medicaid cuts to nearly 500,000 people. We live in an era where activism and community organizing isn’t desirable but is essential.

Furthermore, this message serves as a request for community leaders, church leaders, community organizers, students and most importantly the legislature to step up to the plate to improve the quality of life in this state and country that we live in, reassuring justice at all levels. This great task must be conquered through the power of love, knowledge and politically involved citizens who still believe in humanity. Citizens who want to eradicate this institution of racism and give their future generations a democracy that they can believe in.

The Winston Salem State University Student Government Association hopes to stimulate this community and state to come together and lead a movement that is critical for the advancement of African-Americans and the future of America.

Kyle Brown
Winston-Salem State University
Student Body President, 2015-2016
On behalf of the WSSU Student Government Association

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