Belhaven mayor wraps march to DC to save hospital

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina mayor fighting to reopen a hospital in his rural North Carolina town is finishing his protest march to the nation’s capital.

Belhaven Mayor Adam O’Neal expects to complete his march Monday in Washington, D.C. He met last week in Richmond, Virginia, with Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Neither state has expanded Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul law, something O’Neal blames for his local hospital closing.

Vidant Health System said it was losing money.

The 45-year-old registered Republican started his two-week, 300-mile march after the hospital closed July 1. O’Neal says he wants to speak with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about an investigation into whether the closing violates the Civil Rights Act.

Holder’s agency this year helped facilitate an agreement that kept the hospital open until July.


Emery Dalesio can be reached at

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