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Stuart G

(38,647 posts)
Tue Jul 15, 2014, 09:55 AM Jul 2014

This GOP Mayor Marching 273 Miles to Demand Medicaid Expansion

Source: Think Progress

By Tara Culp-Ressler, July 15, 2014 at 9:11 am Updated: July 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

Adam O’Neal, the Republican mayor of a small North Carolina town named Belhaven, is currently on a nearly 300 mile journey to the nation’s capital to raise awareness for a cause that’s rather unpopular within his own party. This week, the mayor started walking to Washington, DC on foot, hoping to bring more attention to the human consequences of rejecting Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion.

Since North Carolina hasn’t yet agreed to expand Medicaid, the hospital serving O’Neal’s rural constituency was recently forced to close. Vidant Pungo Hospital, which used to care for a disproportionately large population of low-income and uninsured patients, can no longer afford to remain operating in Belhaven. If the state had expanded Medicaid, however, things may have turned out differently. Vidant Pungo would have received an influx of newly insured patients; like the hospitals located in states that accepted Obamacare’s expansion, Vidant’s profit margins probably would have improved.

Now, Belhaven’s residents have to travel nearly an hour to get to the closest hospital, something that has created what O’Neal calls “a medical desert.” So he’s marching 273 miles to Washington to find a solution.

“Our state’s refusal to accept expansion is taking two billion dollars a year out of our state’s healthcare system,” the mayor wrote in an op-ed to explain why he’s making the trek over the next two weeks. “Americans need to realize the rural healthcare struggles across our country. In the last year, more rural hospitals have closed than in the previous 15 years. Every hospital closure means deaths!!!”

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/07/15/3460133/republican-mayor-march-medicaid/

Mayor O'Neal has courage and sensitivity to publicize this. Sensitivity, ..something almost totally lacking in the current Republican Party.
This story should be read by everyone in this country. This is truly a tragedy, and the Republicans should be exposed for their causing death in so many states.
14 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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This GOP Mayor Marching 273 Miles to Demand Medicaid Expansion (Original Post) Stuart G Jul 2014 OP
Good for him packman Jul 2014 #1
But isn't the problem in Raleigh? Retrograde Jul 2014 #2
That's what I thought Retrograde. Then I heard the Mayor say the Democrats bonniebgood Jul 2014 #5
Fucking Democrats. Orsino Jul 2014 #14
+1 daleanime Jul 2014 #11
How long before he wakes up with a horse head in his bed? marmar Jul 2014 #3
Not very long. Stuart G Jul 2014 #4
One 48 year old has died already becasue there is no bonniebgood Jul 2014 #6
Dude is marching to the wrong capital IronLionZion Jul 2014 #7
Maybe he will use the opportunity to re-evaluate his opinions on a variety of issues his party is Dustlawyer Jul 2014 #8
So it takes a just a single Republican to do a march for justice that gets media attention? Fred Sanders Jul 2014 #9
Marching to DC gets the publicity; shames North Carolina;NAACP involved. Divernan Jul 2014 #10
March for Medical Expansion liberal from boston Jul 2014 #12
Mayor O'Neal went to Raleigh in June to demand Medicaid expansion Dems to Win Jul 2014 #13


(16,296 posts)
1. Good for him
Tue Jul 15, 2014, 10:15 AM
Jul 2014

Hope it motivates those tea-bagger idiots . But he should have walked to his state capital via every county that had a rep that opposes ACA and gathered marchers from each district. This symbolic destination of DC is going to make it look like the Fed is the one dragging its feet on ACA expansion.


(10,299 posts)
2. But isn't the problem in Raleigh?
Tue Jul 15, 2014, 10:25 AM
Jul 2014

It's the state - and its Republican governor - that are refusing the expansion. Why not go after the root of the problem, the GOP governor they voted for.


(943 posts)
5. That's what I thought Retrograde. Then I heard the Mayor say the Democrats
Tue Jul 15, 2014, 10:39 AM
Jul 2014

and regugs need to get together to fix this. False equivalence much?

Stuart G

(38,647 posts)
4. Not very long.
Tue Jul 15, 2014, 10:35 AM
Jul 2014

If this gets more national publicity, (and it has on this level at least), that head will show up very very soon.


(943 posts)
6. One 48 year old has died already becasue there is no
Tue Jul 15, 2014, 10:41 AM
Jul 2014

emergency room for 75 miles. Now who's the death panel again?


(45,981 posts)
7. Dude is marching to the wrong capital
Tue Jul 15, 2014, 11:37 AM
Jul 2014

Do any repubs ever wonder why blue states got medicaid expansion and red states did not? Is it because Obama hates certain states?

Dude should tell the GOP controlling his own state to expand medicaid.


(10,504 posts)
8. Maybe he will use the opportunity to re-evaluate his opinions on a variety of issues his party is
Tue Jul 15, 2014, 12:09 PM
Jul 2014

completely wrong on! He will have lots of time to think!

Fred Sanders

(23,946 posts)
9. So it takes a just a single Republican to do a march for justice that gets media attention?
Tue Jul 15, 2014, 12:15 PM
Jul 2014

Good to know.


(15,480 posts)
10. Marching to DC gets the publicity; shames North Carolina;NAACP involved.
Tue Jul 15, 2014, 12:27 PM
Jul 2014

If he only marched to his state capitol, it would not get near the exposure, and he'd probably be harassed by good ole' boy state police, PARTICULARLY since he's working with the NAACP to get a civil rights complaint heard, because closing this hospital had a disproportionate impact on African Americans. If y'all cared enough about the issue to comment, you should have read the entire article first. And I've read complaints that Obama has done precious little for African Americans with his presidency - dare people hope he'll welcome this Mayor to DC? I mean he has time to play golf with Republican legislators, right? Here's a white male Republican working with the NAACP and some DUers have to dish up sarcasm and ridicule.

Let's not be quite so obsessed with name calling and party affiliation. When a local elected official does right by his rural, including black, constituents, let's find common cause with him and support his efforts.

O’Neal and his supporters believe the decision to close Vidant Pungo Hospital violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it disproportionately impacted African Americans in the state who rely on that safety net hospital. Earlier this year, the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP filed an official complaint with the Department of Justice on those grounds. The DOJ initially negotiated a settlement that required Vidant Health, the regional health care system that ran the Pungo Hospital, to work out a plan to transfer control of the hospital’s operation. But that plan ended up falling apart, and the civil rights complaint has since been re-filed. The president of North Carolina’s NAACP, Rev. William Barber — who has been an instrumental player in the state’s ongoing Moral Monday movement — will join O’Neal on the first leg of his walk.

12. March for Medical Expansion
Tue Jul 15, 2014, 12:44 PM
Jul 2014

Lawrence had a great segment on this last night. How brave is this Republican Mayor fighting for his constituents & taking on his own party Governor & the state legislature for refusing Medicaid Expansion. Governor Howard Dean's medical expertise on how this 48 yr old woman had a good probability of surviving if that critical access hospital was not shut down. As the Mayor stated it will probably take him & the group of supporters about 14 days to reach Washington DC. Media needs to keep reporting on this.



Dems to Win

(2,161 posts)
13. Mayor O'Neal went to Raleigh in June to demand Medicaid expansion
Tue Jul 15, 2014, 04:01 PM
Jul 2014

Standing next to William Barber, president of the state chapter of the NAACP, and House minority leader Rep. Larry Hall (D-Durham) was Adam O’Neal, the mayor of Belhaven and a Republican, who had come to Raleigh to push for Medicaid expansion in the state.

“Without Medicaid expansion, the reimbursements are falling,” O’Neal said, “and hospitals like the one in my hometown are on the brink of possibly even closing.”

Republican mayor from eastern NC issues emotional call for Medicaid expansion - See more at: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/06/04/republican-mayor-from-eastern-nc-issues-emotional-call-for-medicaid-expansion/#sthash.NhNIgQqe.dpuf

“You can’t close hospitals and let people die to prove a point.” So spoke the conservative Republican mayor of Belhaven, North Carolina, Adam O’Neal, this morning at a press conference at the state Legislative Building in Raleigh.

O’Neal’s appearance (and his linking of hands with Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP) was the highlight of a powerful event at which advocates called on Gov. McCrory and legislative leaders to reverse course and admit that their ideologically-driven decision to refuse to expand the state’s Medicaid program under the terms of the Affordable Care Act is threatening the physical health of hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians and the financial health of dozens of hospitals — especially ones located in poorer, rural communities like Mayor O’Neal’s.

O’Neal’s speech was an especially moving and courageous act by a man who claimed to disagree with Rev. Barber on most issues and who obviously placed any political ambitions he might harbor at risk by so publicly breaking with the leaders of his own party. But it was also obviously heartfelt and genuine — a fact that made it all the more powerful.

- See more at: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/06/04/republican-mayor-from-eastern-nc-issues-emotional-call-for-medicaid-expansion/#sthash.NhNIgQqe.dUhb6JOa.dpuf

Mayor O'Neal is interacting with Twitter, seeking support for his walk to DC to get more publicity for his cause. @MayorONeal #saveourhospital
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