Reader letters, May 1

Apr 30, 2013

Governor should accept $2.5 billion

To the editor:

In the current state budget cycle, the Republican Legislature and Governor have determined to reject $2.5 billion in expanded federal Medicaid funding, essentially leaving in Washington that amount of federal taxes paid by the citizens of this state.

The human cost of this shameful decision is to leave 600,000 North Carolinians, including 37,000 in WNC, without medical insurance.  The lack of health insurance leads to inadequate preventative care and increased and more expensive critical care.

The cost of delivery of critical care for the uninsured is not reimbursed to our hospitals, increasing the financial burden on the three Medwest facilities in Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties.  Health care experts estimate that 2,300 citizens will die each year from preventable causes as a result.

The economic cost of this purely partisan decision boggles the mind.  We will lose 23,000 jobs in the state and 1,400 in the west.

Our three hospitals are expected to lose 400 jobs.  Across the state over the next seven years we will lose $8 billion in wages, $487 million of the loss in WNC.  The state of North Carolina will lose $158 million in revenue over the current budget cycle.

If we elect to participate and begin paying a 10 percent match in later years, the net effect to the state over the next seven years of the expansion is a positive $104 million.

The Governor cites “problems in Medicaid in NC” as justification, “problems” his own Health and Human Services Secretary says can be easily fixed by July 1.   We must demand that this monstrous decision by the Republicans in Raleigh be reversed immediately.

Ed McFarland

Lake Junaluska


Don’t kill golden-egg goose

To the editor:

This is an open letter to the people of Haywood County. I am 76 years old and have sadly seen this country go downhill during my lifetime. We cannot keep spending more than we take in.

I was amazed by the article on the front page of the April 26 issue referring to a Haywood County commissioners attack on taxpayers for not wanting to pay more taxes.

Mark Swanger attacked anyone that wants to keep taxes low. We have five progressive commissioners that never saw a tax they were against.

For years, this paper has printed page after page of names of people that are having trouble paying the high taxes of Haywood. The paper also has pages of properties going in to foreclosure and creditor notices.

Wake up people, or your name may be in this paper some day.

I would suggest that Kevin Ensley save the taxpayers money by doing something positive instead of investigating people that disagree with your tax and spend policy. Incidentally, I have paid all my taxes. I have not forgotten Mark Swanger, and the boondoggle called the MARC building. More tax money wasted.

Progressives believe in higher taxes, so I guess, if you raise the tax to 10 or 15 percent, you will be a better progressive.

When I was young I learned, “Do not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.” If you lower the tax and advertise the lower taxes in Haywood County, we will be swamped with tourists! It makes sense that this smart way to stop Maggie Valley from being a ghost town.

Al Goodis