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This NC doctor went to jail to save lives

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Interview with Charlie van der Horst

Dr. Charles van der Horst is a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Van der Horst is also one of almost one thousand people arrested by North Carolina lawmakers for engaging in civil disobedience to protest the refusal of the General Assembly to accept Medicaid expansion in North Carolina.

Durham-based writer and radio documentarian Barry Yeoman interviewed van der Horst and teamed up with photographer Jenny Warburg to produce this three-minute audio slideshow for The American Prospect.

In the interview, van der Horst tells the story of a patient he saw whose death five days later of advanced disease could have been prevented had he had medical coverage.

"He was a white, conservative, working farmer who died needlessly for want of health insurance," said van der Horst.

Van der Horst defends the use of morality to frame controversial decisions made by North Carolina lawmakers, like the decision to not expand Medicaid.

"There is a right and wrong," van der Horst said, referring to two studies that estimate the death toll of not expanding Medicaid in North Carolina at between one and two thousand people each year.

"For the governor or the Speaker of the House, Thom Tillis, to allow the death of 2,000 people, then we need to speak out, stand up, and call them for what they are - and that is 'immoral'." -- Dr. Charlie van der Horst

Watch and listen to The American Prospect audio slideshow interview with Dr. Charlie van der Horst.

Join Moral Monday on June 2, 2014 to rally for health and environmental justice.