WARREN D. GOLIGHTLY
Failure of contract negotiations between Valley Health and Anthem highlight the need for the local community to vote a straight Democratic ticket. The Star reported September 30 that the Winchester City Council and the Clarke County Board of Supervisors adopted a letter and resolution encouraging these entities to reach a deal. The all-Republican Frederick County Board of Supervisors is conspicuously absent from the article.
The Republican candidate for Shawnee District repeatedly emphasizes that he is 100% supportive of Republican office holders. Virginia Republicans for years denied low-income wage earners access to health care refusing to expand Medicaid, negatively impacting 400,000 essential workers. When Republicans held both houses of Congress they failed an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They had no alternative plan of their own.
The current Republican administration (which the local Shawnee candidate admires) has shown little concern for public health outcomes. Treating a worldwide pandemic in cavalier fashion this administration ignored its own Centers for Disease Control guidelines. By downplaying the severity of the community health hazard, refusing to wear masks or socially distance, and encouraging large crowds, even at indoor gatherings, the White House, itself, has become a dangerous place to be.
The Justice Department, abandoning a tradition of independence, supports lawsuits to cripple or overturn the ACA. The courts are packed by judges chosen because of their opposition to the ACA. A Supreme Court nominee is being rushed through Senate confirmation days before an election violating a precedent established by the very same Senate leadership. Their hope is the new justice will be seated on the Supreme Court in time to rule on a pending case to invalidate the ACA.
The Republicans have exhibited a policy pattern of hostility toward community health care. They denigrate public health professionals, public health institutions (the World Health Organization) and medical science itself.
The Shawnee BOS candidate is strong on ideological rhetoric and Republican talking points. However his issues are outside the purview of the BOS. Excepting empty symbolic gestures there is absolutely nothing the Frederick County BOS can do about abortion, the 2nd Amendment, “Marxist led rioters” in our cities, and so forth. The Democratic candidate for Shawnee focuses on practical issues that can actually be accomplished by the BOS. One action the board could do is protect the health coverage of Frederick County employees and teachers. Apparently it could not be bothered to write a letter and resolution to the officials at Valley Health and Anthem.
If you are a local voter and you are concerned about the Valley Health/Anthem breakdown of negotiations because of the negative impact on your health care, you should vote a straight ticket for the only party that cares about community public health. Vote Democratic!