In a delightfully pointed and insightful op-ed piece in today’s RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER, Dr. Charles Van Der Horst calls our new state governor to task for his decidedly divisive and damaging decision to deny over a half million working state citizens access to health insurance. Dr. Van Der Horst, a previous AIDS researcher in Malawi and South Africa, and now a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, writes with a wealth of direct personal experience of the disaster of over-burdened health systems unable to provide basic care of society.
North Carolina is now in that situation. Governor McCrory, has his own ideological and partisan political goals. That much is already painful obvious. But, it is shameful that he is so quickly using his power to reject Medicaid for our state and relegate so many thousands of our fellow citizens to insufficient health care.
Like Dr. Van Der Horst, I have spent much of my life working in areas of the world where poverty and broken health systems have caused millions of needless deaths and untold suffering. It is inconceivable to me that an educated leader would allow such to happen if it could be prevented. That a governor of North Carolina would turn his back on the opportunity for providing better health care to the citizens of our state is just incomprehensible.
In Dr. Van Der Horst’s own words, “We are not a healthy state.“ North Carolina already has high infant mortality (46th in US), low birth weigh (44th), and diabetes (42nd). We need more health care, not less.
Good leadership is about more than ideology and rhetoric. Basic morality must come first. A liberal arts education taught me that. Maybe the governor needs to go back to school.