Tuesday, February 19, 2013

NC NAACP Open Letter To Governor McCrory and NC Legislative Leadership:


Do Not Reject Medicaid Expansion and Create Healthcare Apartheid

18 February 2013

Hon. Pat McCrory, Governor of All the People of North Carolina

Hon. Phil Berger, Leader of N.C. Senate sworn to govern for the good of the whole.

Hon. Tom Tillis,  Leader of the N.C. House sworn to govern for the good of the whole.

Hon. Skip Stam, Leader of the N.C. House sworn to govern for the good of the whole.

Re: Senate Bill 4 Creates Healthcare Apartheid

Dear Gov. McCrory, Sen. Berger, Speaker Tillis, and House Leader Stam:

"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."  - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On behalf of millions of poor and working people in North Carolina, we reject your apparent eagerness to deny 500,000 low income North Carolina people access to health care they need now. You are creating two health care systems:  One for the Haves.  One for the Have Nots. 

You are creating Health Care Apartheid!

When you reject Medicaid expansion, you create disparate impacts on African Americans, other minorities, the poor, and the disabled.  In a time when many have not recovered from the Recession, when many families are in desperate need of a social safety net, you turn your back on them--infants, young people, and the elderly.  You do this aware that African Americans, Latinos and other people of color have a much lower insured rate than white North Carolinians.  The rate is 7.7% lower for African Americans, 19.4% for Latinos and 4.6% lower for Asian Americans.

In N.C.'s rural areas, community hospitals provide care to those who cannot afford it.  But because of your rejection of Medicaid expansion, many of the rural community hospitals may have to shut their doors, eliminating the care to those who need it most.  By expanding Medicaid, North Carolina would qualify for significant federal funds which would allow for these community hospitals to continue to provide needed medical care and provide for improved health care to young people, seniors and disabled citizens who need health care the most.

Please do as so many people in our great state have called on you to do.  Please govern for the good of the whole, not just the rich few.

We are keeping a list, and checking it twice. We know who voted to cut unemployment insurance to jobless people!  We know who voted to reject expansion of Medicaid to the poor, disabled and mentally ill.  And we are following closely those of you who work actively to inhibit our voting rights with the new poll tax disguised as forced purchase of a photo ID.  These three votes are the antithesis of the promise you made to govern for the "good of the whole." These three votes are the antithesis to our state constitution's promise of guarding the people's right to "life, liberty, the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor, and the pursuit of happiness."

In this season of Lent, we ask you, our elected leaders, to remember what Isaiah 58:6-12 says:

This is the kind of fast day I'm after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
cancel debts.
What I'm interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You'll call out for help and I'll say, 'Here I am.'

If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming victims,
quit gossiping about other people's sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places-
firm muscles, strong bones.
You'll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You'll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.


Barber Signature

                                                Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

C: National NAACP Leadership and General Counsel

     NC NAACP Legal Redress Team

     NC NAACP Vice Presidents 


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.


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