(From April 9, 2017 when I was running for the Democratic nomination for House of Delegates)
That’s a pretty blunt statement, but that’s what the Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates told over 460,000 people when they once again voted against Medicaid expansion on April 5.
According to the Competitive Commonwealth Fund, Delegate Nick Freitas (who I will run against in the 30th District), said “no thanks” to over $21.5 million and 355 jobs for his constituents.
Let’s look at some numbers from healthinsurance.org.
968,666 are covered by Medicaid and CHIP as of June 2016
462,000 additional who could be covered
131,000 have no realistic access to health insurance without Medicaid expansion
$14.7 billion is going elsewhere over the next 10 years
More than 1,000 people in Virginia died from opioid overdoses in 2015. Those lives could have been saved if Medicaid was expanded.
The General Assembly Republicans always believed that the Affordable Care Act would be repealed once there was a Republican President and Congress. If they limited the amount the people who benefited from the ACA, there would be less political damage to them if the rug got pulled out. When the American Health Care Act was pulled by the House of Representatives Republican leadership because it didn’t have the votes, the General Assembly Republicans lost that argument.
Republicans believe that nobody has the right to medical care or anything beyond what they are willing to spend and can afford to pay. Yes, you can always go to the emergency room, but by the time you do, your illness may be advanced enough that it requires expensive treatment. And everyone else paying for health insurance gets to pay for that with higher premiums. With more people covered by Medicaid expansion, those increases in premiums would be a lot less.
If you get cancer and you can’t afford treatment, the Republican response is die quickly.
I responded to a Facebook post a few weeks ago that said, “Health care is for people who get off their asses and work everyday.” My question was, “If people get off their asses, work everyday and still can’t afford health care, then they don’t deserve it?” No response back.
I sincerely hope that person never faces a health crisis.
*Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) in 2009
“The Republicans’ health care plan for America: ‘Don’t get sick.’ That’s right — don’t get sick. If you have insurance, don’t get sick; if you don’t have insurance, don’t get sick; if you’re sick, don’t get sick — just don’t get sick! That’s what the Republicans have in mind for you, America. That’s the Republicans’ health care plan. But I think that the Republicans understand that that plan isn’t always going to work — it’s not a foolproof plan. So the Republicans have a backup plan, in case you do get sick. If you get sick in America, this is what the Republicans want you to do. If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: ‘Die quickly.’ That’s right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.”