It had to happen. The DR is obviously censoring the BYH submissions so that the posts now are boring, staid and droll....

Jesus healed without condition

Campaign 2016 Black Turnout

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2016, file photo, Rev. William Barber speaks during a news conference in Charlotte, N.C. Black clergy are taking to the pulpits and the streets nationwide in hopes of energizing black voters ahead of Election Day, aiming to make a difference in the presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. “Voting, for us, is both a spiritual and a political issue,” said Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and architect of the Moral Monday Movement in North Carolina. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, file)


Sunday, April 14, 2019

The N.C. General Assembly continues to wage a war against the poor and vulnerable in our state, further fanning the flames of health care inequality.

The fuel of this inferno, however, is real people’s lives. It’s time for the General Assembly to put out the flames of poverty, sickness and death.

Year after year, the NCGA has failed to expand Medicaid and provide lifesaving health insurance to an estimated 500,000 people in our state. Instead of working on a moral policy agenda that will uplift all North Carolinians, state legislators continue to play political games at the expense of the most vulnerable, all in the name of an effort that is supposed to “take care” of the poor and the sick.

There has been a solution available since the passage of the Affordable Care Act with federal dollars that could boost our economy. That solution is Medicaid expansion. As it has in other states, this legislative action would immediately give coverage to the half a million North Carolinians who need it most. But the North Carolina GOP still refuses to introduce Medicaid expansion.

Instead, their idea for "closing" the coverage gap is to offer a bill with onerous and dangerous provisions that threaten to kick people off of existing insurance plans precisely when they need health care the most. Barriers like the work-reporting requirement have a racist history and try to create a distinction between deserving and undeserving citizens.

If any one of God’s children gets sick, they deserve to get health care without having to show a pay stub. The majority of those who would not meet the NC GOP’s proposed work requirements are caring for children or family members. Others may be working, but unable to sustain the proposed minimum number of required hours because of child care obligations, lack of access to good, full time jobs, or poor health.

If you believe work-reporting requirements sound cruel and unnecessary, a federal judge agrees with you. He just found that these types of requirements, ones that led to 18,000 Arkansans losing coverage, are wrong and ruled they be struck down. Instead of taking that ruling to heart, our legislators are still pushing for these administrative roadblocks in their new bill.

Yet, it seems even that is not enough for these extremists.

People living paycheck to paycheck would also be required by their proposed legislation to pay a 2 percent premium in order to access Medicaid benefits. Families struggle every day to make rent and put food on the table. They can't afford to pay a premium. Did Jesus charge a premium to the poor to heal them?

I have said it before, but the lawmakers in Raleigh are not listening. When you deny health coverage to the poorest and neediest people, we are talking about something akin to political murder. The Bible says in Ezekiel 22 that politicians become like wolves devouring the people and do not care for the needy.

We need every legislator to embrace Medicaid expansion, not false and hollow farces of supposed coverage. We need every legislator to take a moral inventory and move to a single-payer universal health care system that does not discriminate based on race or socioeconomic status or because of pre-existing conditions. The only way this will happen, however, is if we unite our voices together and demand it.

It is time for the people who are elected into these positions of power to start putting the needs of the people above corporations, lobbyists and extremist party ideologies. We need your voices, and we need them now.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is president of the Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

September 21, 2019

At almost the same moment our state was boasting of a $900 million cash surplus, one important sector of state government was encountering serious shortfalls. Lawmakers should address the funding problems with the N.C. Department of Transportation before considering refunds to taxpayers or other…

Tom Campbell.jpg

September 05, 2019

The year was 1990. While serving as pastor of a church in Greensboro, I became involved in a ministry to the most vulnerable.

At the time, North Carolina was at the top of the list when it came to infant mortality. Politicians who ran a strong anti-abortion campaign in the name of…


August 25, 2019

The travel and tourism industry is one of the most mid-understood industries across our nation despite its huge contribution to the national economy.

The United States Travel Association reported that $1.1 trillion was spent by travelers to the U.S. in 2018, resulting in a $2.5 trillion output…


August 24, 2019

As North Carolina teachers start to return to classrooms, they will undoubtedly have a lot on their minds to prepare for a new academic year. Fortunately, they will no longer have to worry about the status of their in-network health care coverage for 2020 under the State Health Plan.

Thanks to the…


August 24, 2019

If you come to the end of the year and you’ve got surplus money in the bank what do you do? This seldom happens in most homes, but would you spend it? Save it? Or, with a government, would you return some of it to the people who sent it? That’s the option Senate President Pro Tem Phil…

August 21, 2019

For many parents, August is a month of both pride and tears. Pride because their teenager is taking that big educational step and tears because for many it's the beginning of an empty nest. Yet, there's a going-away-to-college question that far too few parents ask or even contemplate: What will my…

Walter Williams

August 18, 2019

I have had the distinct honor and privilege of leading the Greenville VA Health Care Center as the Administrator and Associate Administrator since November 2016.

Over the past two and a half years, I have enjoyed working all of the veterans and staff members as we grew together, overcame obstacles,…


July 23, 2019

Since being sworn in January, I have been working hard to help the people I represent in Lenoir and Pitt counties — and the biggest opportunity to do this has been through the state budget. I’ve talked with elected officials, educators, administrators, nonprofits, business owners,…


July 12, 2019

Over the past three years, I have had the good fortune to work on a project that has the potential to transform the farming landscape in eastern North Carolina, one that involves harnessing gas produced from hog waste.

As CEO and founder of OptimaBio, our work with Smithfield Foods to capture…


July 01, 2019

The American system of checks and balances government does not work the way most people think it does or the way the Founding Fathers said it would.

The president serves at the pleasure of Congress, just as the prime minister of the UK serves at the pleasure of Parliament, which means that the…

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