Letter: Medicaid expansion is modern-day second amendment

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 18, 2019

On December 15, 1791, the Second Amendment was ratified by Congress as part of the Bill of Rights.

The primary motivations behind the amendment were the rights of self-defense and resistance to oppression. To this day, many supporters of the Second Amendment consider it a critical protection against government tyranny.

But what about other sins of government? The sins of incompetence, negligence, corruption and gridlock. What protections have we been granted against them?

Consider the case of Medicaid expansion. State governments in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah refused to expand Medicaid for residents desperate for affordable health care and for hospitals struggling to remain open.

For many, the refusal to accept billions of dollars from the federal government to help those in need amounted to nothing less than negligence on the part of their legislators. So, in 2018 voters in all three states were able to overcome that negligence by passing ballot initiatives that expanded Medicaid.

A large majority of North Carolinians — 62% — support Medicaid expansion. Unlike 27 other states, however, ballot initiatives are not allowed here, leaving citizens vulnerable and helpless to protect themselves against the sins of their government.

That needs to change. If our government will not act in accordance with the will of the people of North Carolina, then the people of North Carolina must have the ability to take things into their own hands.

It’s essential that we demand all candidates for state office take a position on ballot initiatives. It’s the Second Amendment of our time.

— Jeffrey Zalles