Hudson’s assault on Obamacare hurts our veterans

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Hudson’s assault on Obamacare hurts our veterans

July 28, 2015

Dylan Frick

Last week a national tourism website, RoadSnacks, released a list of the Ten Worst Places to Live in NC, and it wasn’t pretty for towns in the 8th Congressional District. Three of the 10 were in our district, with Rockingham coming in at second, Hamlet at fifth, and Wadesboro eighth. In another survey, they rated Lumberton and Laurinburg as some of the most dangerous cities in NC. They compared statistics on crime, life expectancy, unemployment rates, and all the other traits that make new families sign the dotted line.

It’s no question that poverty is linked to these traits. The 8th District knows some of the worst poverty in the nation. Lumberton has consistently been rated as the poorest city in America. Forty percent of Troy’s citizens live in poverty, but they aren’t alone. In Albemarle, 36 percent of families live in poverty, and 34 percent of individuals in Rockingham earn less than $30,000 annually. These are disappointing facts, but in this highly partisan era, our elected officials care more about political talking points than actually addressing the problem.

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson has neglected struggling families by insisting that Obamacare be repealed. Republicans talk a big game about how the bill has been a failure, but it’s working, and it’s the most protective program for middle class families we’ve seen in decades. Instead of talking about any alternative plan, Republicans in the House have voted 56 times to repeal the legislation, and Hudson has joined the bandwagon every time.

What disappoints me the most is that Hudson chooses to brand himself as a man for the veterans, but turns around and votes for legislation to harm them. In a recent editorial by Hudson he claims that he is committed to ensuring that “these heroes get the very best, most timely care upon their return.”

According to the Urban Institute, there are 1.3 million uninsured veterans in the United States, and over 40 percent are eligible for Medicaid through the new health-care law. Veterans are assured coverage by the VA, but even Hudson notes that the VA hasn’t provided the most timely and efficient coverage. Hudson is a hypocrite to pledge a commitment to provide veterans with the “most timely care” one day, then vote the next day to repeal the very legislation that provides coverage to these brave men and women. Dismantling Obamacare does nothing but kick our service men and women to the curb, and Hudson should rearrange his priorities.

This isn’t a conversation about handouts; it’s a conversation about building the economy from Main Street up. Obamacare is the largest poverty reduction program in the United States in decades. There are over 121,000 uninsured individuals in the 8th District, and more than 82,000 live in poverty. These are people who can’t afford necessities, and they are people who are unable to contribute to our local economy. In a district with the poorest city in America, and some of the most dangerous cities in the state, Hudson needs to focus on improving conditions for our struggling neighbors. These towns don’t deserve to be shamed by a national tourist website, and Hudson should take this as a wakeup call.