A shell game called ‘fiscal responsibility’
Legislative priorities valuing profits over people have left many North Carolinians precariously vulnerable, dependent on weakened state support systems inadequate for the current crisis.
Over the past decade, the Republican-controlled legislature regularly and disproportionately reduced state taxes on business, balancing the corresponding losses in state revenue by cuts to programs that we desperately need now. They deceptively called this shell-game “fiscal responsibility.”
Despite cheerful promises, none of the business profits “trickled down” from the “job creators” to raise the stagnant wages of workers or improve the quality of their lives. The stock market boomed in a speculative bubble, but many working people in North Carolina continued to live paycheck to paycheck, at least half a million of them denied adequate health care, in a state with some of the shortest-termed, lowest-paying unemployment benefits in the nation.
This GOP con has crippled our once-outstanding public education system, reduced our social services, rotted our infrastructure and allowed industry to ravish our environment.
The pandemic offers literal proof that we are all interconnected, only as safe as the most defenseless among us and only as strong as the weakest. We must choose legislators who care about us all. “Profits over people” doesn’t work.
Greensboro now offers birth centers
I would like to echo Liza Winchester’s letter on May 7 asking the support of our medical community to keep Magnolia Birth Center open.
The Triad deserves to boast a full continuum of medical choice for families, from progressive hospital care for patients who want or need to birth in a hospital setting, to a fully accredited out-of-hospital birth center for those low-risk clients who wish to have this choice. Both Chapel Hill and Statesville offer thriving and successful private birth centers — finally, for the last three years Greensboro has been able to say the same!
Freestanding birth centers are held to the highest standards through accreditation. They accept insurance (including Medicaid) and they reduce cost while offering a family-centered birth experience. Nurse midwives are highly trained and licensed birth professionals who offer evidenced-based and patient-centered obstetrical and gynecological care. In addition, Magnolia has provided a wide array of classes to ensure that their clients are well-prepared for the transition to parenthood, and have offered a community home for fitness classes and various community support groups.
Magnolia Birth Center has earned their place in this progressive medical community. It is a huge step backward if we cannot keep it.
Mary Gillett, MS, CD (DONA)
The writer is a certified doula and childbirth educator.
Many workers in the health care gap
As we express gratitude for grocery store and restaurant workers who risk their safety to ensure we eat, please remember that many of these heroes don’t have access to medical insurance.
My favorite cashier, who is a single parent with two children, is only eligible for Medicaid if she earns less than $8,935/year. If she earns more than $8,935 but less than $21,720, she falls into the Medicaid gap and she isn’t eligible for Medicaid or Obamacare. She might consider not working to qualify for Medicaid, but she must work to provide for her children. If she gets sick, medical expenses will be devastating — not only with COVID-19 but always.
Republicans in Raleigh refuse to consider Medicaid expansion despite having the support of 80% of North Carolinians, including conservatives, business leaders and medical professionals. State Rep. Jon Hardister withdrew support from a bill he co-sponsored on Medicaid expansion after promising that he was committed to it. Please contact Hardister to implore him to approve Medicaid expansion. It makes economic, fiscal and common sense. These workers we call heroes need our help and we will be helping save lives so we, too, can be heroes.
Life is full of risks, and some will die
A May 7 letter from Jim Galler quoted President Trump. “We will lose some people, but we have to open up the country.” Galler interpreted this to mean, “Your lives are worthless to me, but if you die so that I can get re-elected, so be it.”
So according to Galler, we should eliminate trucking because somebody will die. We should not commute to work because somebody will die. Farmers should not drive their tractors because they will die. You better not climb those stairs in your house, jog, play golf or cross the street.
Life is full of risks. If the truckers did not take the risk of driving, then how would the grocery stores get filled? How would you get food? These illogical hate-filled anti-Trump letters are really tiresome.