To the Editor:
Some years ago, we cruised around on a small sailboat in the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina and spent one stormy night at the dock in Belhaven, N.C. So we perked up when we saw the mayor of Belhaven speak on the Lawrence O’Donnell Show on July 1 about the closing of the hospital there because the state will not expand Medicaid and the conglomerate that recently bought the hospital, instead of keeping its promises, for improvements, wants to close the hospital, leaving the residents of this Inner Banks town to fend for themselves and hope they can get to some other hospital from this remote small town when they have a heart attack or some other emergency.
The mayor of Belhaven says that the effect of closing the hospital in this town of 1,700 people is devastating economically to the town because of the number of people it has been employing, besides causing needless deaths among its citizenry.
I wonder if the state legislator for the 33rd District in Tennessee has given any thought to the real life-and-death consequences of the Tennessee Legislature’s inaction in expanding Medicaid. Is he aware that from one to three Tennesseans die each week because they do not have health care (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)? Is he aware that he and other legislators are literally responsible for the deaths of actual, real Tennesseans, economically disadvantaged people,who could be healthier and more productive if they were able to get health care on a regular basis? And who could expect just to live by getting health care?
Is he aware that Tennessee would actually save money by expanding Medicaid. Has he looked into the facts about this?
Is it a conservative value to put partisanship above the saving of human life?
Virginia M. Jones