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Hoodwinked, Brunswick Beacon

For 11 years, Republicans refused federal funds to expand Medicaid. They hoped to sabotage Obamacare before it became popular, but finally had to concede defeat because 62% of Americans approve of Obamacare. NC became the 40th state to expand Medicaid with 90% federal funding. Thanks to Obamacare, 600,000 needy North Carolinians have healthcare. That didn’t stop John Hood, in his May 18 column, from complaining.

Who is Hood and why are his knickers in a twist? Hood makes $250,000/year as President of the John William Pope Foundation. He’s also a director of the John Locke Foundation (JLF), which publishes The Carolina Journal. All are funded by Art Pope (John William Pope’s son), who used his family’s fortune to help Republicans gain control of North Carolina’s legislature. JLF opposed Medicaid expansion and the court-ordered Leandro plan for funding public schools. As recently as Feb. 3, JLF urged NC legislators to reject Medicaid expansion.

Hood complains that expanding Medicaid boosts demand, causing a shortage of medical professionals. Put aside, if you can, the cruelty of denying people healthcare so Hood can enjoy shorter lines at his doctor’s office. Ask instead, “Why is NC having trouble attracting doctors?”

Shortages of medical professionals exist nationwide, but NC is especially hard-hit, thanks to policies enacted by Republican legislators. Many doctors won’t practice where medical care, like abortion, has been criminalized. They also worry about raising kids in states like NC, which ranks dead last in supporting public schools. Gov. Roy Cooper declared a “state of emergency” because “the Republican legislature is aiming to choke the life out of public education.”

Right-wing pressure groups like JLF helped elect Republicans who denied women freedom and are strangling public education by sending your tax dollars to private schools for wealthy students.

Congratulations, Mr. Hood! You and JLF helped restrict women’s freedom and cripple public education, made it harder for North Carolinians to find a doctor, and cut Art Pope’s taxes. You really earned your keep.

Linda McConnell Baker, RN, BC, CHPN (Retired)



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