Tuesday morning North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore delivered a letter to Representative Kandie Smith in response to a letter she sent to his office urging him to return $35 million in funding to Vidant Hospital that had been cut under the proposed Senate Budget.
“First and foremost I am incredibly pleased to hear that concerns of those who live in Eastern North Carolina have been made a priority as the budget conference committee negotiates the final budget,” said Rep. Kandie Smith in response to the letter. The services provided by our local hospitals are vital to our area, and it is great to see that our House leadership recognizes that and is willing to right this wrong.”
In response to the Speakers request that Rep. Smith guarantee a vote for the budget, or to override a potential budget veto from the Governor if it should come to it, Rep. Smith said, “I look forward to voting for a budget that does not cut funding for our teaching hospital, and includes Medicaid expansion. As I have repeatedly said since the announcement of these cuts, this issue is too important to be used as a pawn in petty political games. The people of Eastern North Carolina want and deserve a budget that works for them, not just a few Raleigh politicians.”
Earlier this year Representative Smith was also a primary sponsor of HB 371 which would add an additional $28 million over the next two years for a new medical school.
“I believe that Medicaid expansion and additional funding and resources for our area is critical for improving healthcare in Eastern North Carolina and I will not give in to demands made at the expense of the people we are supposed to be protecting,” Rep. Smith concluded.