I well remember childhood Sunday dinners when Grandma would declare, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.” “Yeah, sure, Grandma,” I’d say, excusing myself to run outside with my neighborhood playmates.
Now older and wiser, I realize Grandma was right. What’s more, I realize that good health care, and good health care insurance, makes all the difference. For many it’s the difference between a comfortable life and a life of needless suffering or financial struggle; for some it’s the difference between life and death. Grandma was lucky. She had health problems aplenty, but she had excellent care and good insurance.
As we head into the November election, I, like many Americans, have health care on my mind.
Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “ObamaCare”) was enacted in 2010, more than 20 million Americans have health coverage now than did before. But for how long? From the time he took office, Donald Trump has worked to dismantle the ACA — through statue, Executive Order and by nominating a Supreme Court Justice who is likely vote against the ACA when it’s challenged before the Court in November.
It’s mind boggling. All of these efforts to take away affordable health care are happening in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, one that has hit the United States disproportionately hard. This is a time when Americans need health care more than ever.
Thankfully, relief is at hand. Presidential candidate Joe Biden not only helped pass the ACA as Vice President, he has pledged to expand and improve the health care program so that all Americans have adequate health care coverage. Closer to home, quality affordable health care commands a position of high priority in the Democratic campaigns of Mark Warner (US Senate), Jennifer Wexton (US House of Representatives) and Irina Kanin (Virginia House of Delegates). Their Republican opponents don’t even mention health care on their campaign websites. Not a one.
My conclusion: if you care about your health and your health care, and that of your children, your neighbors and your grandmas, vote for Joe Biden for President, Mark Warner for U.S. Senator, Jennifer Wexton for U.S. Representative and Irina Kanin for Virginia Delegate this election.