Statement of GOP Mayor After Meeting with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe

For Immediate Release:                 ContactDon Owens
Tuesday, July 22, 2014                     202-302-5928 |
Statement of GOP Mayor After Meeting with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Today
The Two Leaders Discuss Rural Health Care Crisis and Medicaid Expansion
(Richmond, VA) Republican Belhaven, NC, mayor Adam O’Neal (R) is thankful for the hospitality of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) with whom he met today to discuss the need for Medicaid expansion and support for rural hospitals. Mayor O’Neal and his supporters have completed more than 160 miles of their 14-day, 273-mile march to Washington, DC in support of quality health care. The following is a statement on their meeting:
“The people of eastern North Carolina support Governor McAuliffe in his fight to expand Medicaid, insure hundreds of thousands Virginians, and protect rural hospitals from closing.
“I am here to tell you that the failure to accept Medicaid expansion is not the only failure that is threatening rural hospitals. Our governments, which should be the voice of the people, are failing to regulate regional monopolies that seek to eliminate competition and deprive our communities of preventative health care, emergency health care, and even the country doctors that America's heartland has depended upon for centuries.
“Our governments created our healthcare system. Our governments must protect the people from the greed and corruption that exploits that system at the expense of our families.
“In Belhaven, NC more than twenty thousand people who have depended upon the Pungo District Hospital for emergency care are now confronted with locked doors and a sign that says 'call 911' if you have a medical emergency. Vidant Health, Inc. took over our hospital, then closed it thinking they can make more money if they provide emergency care only for those of us with good insurance. Now, the people of my region are as many as 84 miles from emergency care.
“Vidant Health, Inc made $109 million last year and $127 million in 2012. They have $550 million in the bank, and executives who make more money each year than Belhaven’s hospital has ever lost, even under Vidant's deliberate mismanagement. Yet We the People afford them tax exempt non-profit status, even as they discriminate against low-income communities and people of color when deciding where emergency healthcare is profitable and where it is not.
“To protect the People from tax-free exploitation and abuse, the federal government must pass new laws protecting Critical Access hospitals, and enforce the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That's why after this meeting, I'm going to keep on walking until I get to Washington DC.”
Don Owens
mobile: 202-302-5928
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Showing 3 reactions

commented 2014-07-23 12:16:21 -0700 · Flag
We support you! See yall in DC Monday!!
commented 2014-07-22 16:31:59 -0700 · Flag
“What are YOU going to do about it?”
Way to go, Mayor. We’re with you.
commented 2014-07-22 13:32:59 -0700 · Flag
Tell them Adam. spread the message for us.