Friday, May 16, 2014

And Morehouse School of Medicine's 2014 commencement speaker is: Gov. Nathan Deal?

Posted By on Fri, May 16, 2014 at 8:38 PM

When Gov. Nathan Deal takes the podium this Saturday morning to address the graduates at Morehouse School of Medicine's commencement, he could be facing more jeers than cheers.

The video above, featuring the ranting and raving of radio talk-show host Joe Madison, more or less expresses the sentiment held by many at hearing the news of Deal's invitation by the historically black college to speak at its 2014 graduation ceremony.

Deal, of course, has been a staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act. He's also blocked statewide Medicaid expansion legislated by the act that would've granted $33 billion in federal funds to the state of Georgia over the next 10 years.

But the biggest head-scratcher is reserved for the Morehouse School of Medicine faculty behind its decision to invite the governor as commencement speaker.

Gov. Nathan Deal pledged to find an appropriate way to honor Dr. King on our Capitol Hill. He left the service before Rev. Raphael Warnock insisted he expand Medicaid in Georgia and expand now.
  • Joeff Davis
  • Gov. Nathan Deal pledged to find "an appropriate way to honor Dr. King on our Capitol Hill." He left the service before Rev. Raphael Warnock insisted he "expand Medicaid in Georgia and expand now."

"Why would you invite the governor of Georgia to speak at your medical school," Madison asks in the embedded video, "when he's done everything he can to undue the Affordable Care Act? And won't accept money for Medicaid. And these black doctors and nurses will be graduating from Morehouse medical school and who do you think your patients will be? What the hell is wrong with y'all? Wake the ____ up!"

Morehouse School of Medicine residents receive most of their training at Grady Hospital, a level-one trauma center and the state's primary hospital for the indigent and uninsured. The blocked expansion of Medicaid will severely impact the hospital's ability to serve that demographic.

On March 18, nearly 40 Moral Monday Georgia activists were arrested - including Ebenezer Baptist Church Pastor Raphael Warnock - for interrupting proceedings in the state Capitol meant to urge Gov. Deal to expand Medicaid. Deal also spoke at this year's annual Martin Luther King Convocation, held at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Dr. King's birthday. He left that service before Rev. Warnock keynote address in which he chided the governor for his ultra-conservative stance on healthcare.

In addition to asking MSM to rescind its invitation to Gov. Deal today, activists have already scheduled to protest Saturday morning's commencement, which starts at 8 a.m. The commencement will take place in the King Chapel on the campus of Morehouse College; the protest will take place on the corner of Westview Drive and Lee Street.

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