What About Healthcare?

What is your position on making healthcare more accessible to everyday Virginians?

We are giving away millions of dollars every day we don’t expand Medicaid. $10.4 billion to date. That money is going to other states so that their citizens get the healthcare that over 400,000 Virginians need. This is not fiscally responsible. At the same time, we need to be smart about expanding Medicaid and be ready for whatever form of TrumpCare arrives at our doorstep, assuming Republicans in congress can get their act together.

We need to rethink healthcare, especially for women. For the family to be healthy, women need to be healthy. In America, moms, grandmas, daughters, nieces, daughter-in-laws are the caregivers of the family. Women provide the lion’s share of support to children and the elderly. They are our silent army of unpaid caregivers. Whether it’s Medicaid, Medicare or TrumpCare, access to affordable healthcare is crucial for families and women of all ages.

Politics of Coffee, Not Tea

A primary objective of the Trump administration/ Republican party is to push more responsibility to the states. They do this to keep the Freedom Caucus happy and to avoid having to make hard choices. We are seeing this again and again – the latest healthcare debacle, the attack on the EPA, etc. The result of this strategy is that major policy decisions directly impacting the lives of Virginians will be made at the state level. This is why the House of Delegates race in 2017 is critical to the future of Virginia.

We need more than just a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion. We need a functional and productive legislature that represents the best interests of all Virginians.  The rural District 18 must go Blue in November. Here are some of the things I stand for:

  • Education:  keep and put our public schools and universities on top. This means keeping local school boards in charge, access to affordable college, and especially for our District, a rural internet that works for students.
  • Healthcare: ensure all Virginians have access to healthcare. This means finally expanding Medicaid and being ready for whatever form of TrumpCare arrives at our doorstep.
  • Civility & Fair Elections: move political discourse to problem solving and abandon polarization.  Politics is the problem, not policy. Gerrymandering and campaign finance laws have created a monster that leaves the majority of rural Virginians in the cold, feeling their votes don’t matter.
  • Immigration:  develop  smart, strategic and thoughtful policies that help our small businesses, our local police and legal immigrants. Immigrants are essential for our economy.
  • Women’s Issues: today’s politics are all about women’s issues. You cannot have a conversation about work, healthcare, family, education and retirement without involving and listening to women.

There couldn’t be a more critical time to put Democrats in the House of Delegates. My opponent, Michael Webert, is Republican Tea Party “yes” man. Things will only get worse for Virginians if he is allowed to stay in office.  Be sure to sign up for my Vote Shields mailing list so you can learn more about my positions and campaign. And, of course, DONATE!

Voices Heard, Not Hijacked

Virginia District 18 – 2017

Our political discourse has been hijacked. The more divided we are, the less focused we are at making life better for Virginians. We’ve been left lonely by our legislature.

Take Medicaid for example. Last week in a special session, the Virginia State legislature broke down along party lines to continue refusing Medicaid expansion. Here’s what Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe had to say: “Every taxpayer should know we have forfeited $10.4 billion … we could bring back to Virginia, at no obligation to the state, to help 400,000 Virginians get healthcare.”

This is bad business — all in the name of partisan politics. Who’s losing here? We are. In Richmond, the majority of the elected delegates govern with fingers in their ears saying to the people of Virginia “we can’t hear you … la la la.”

As individuals or even activist groups, under the Virginia constitution, we don’t have lots of options to legislatively make changes. Unlike populist traditions you see in other states like California or Colorado, Virginia does not allow citizen groups to propose statewide ballot initiatives. Only the General Assembly can put a referendum on the ballot, and it rarely chooses to do so especially during this hyper-partisan era.

If we were allowed to put issues like Medicaid, gerrymandering, minimum wage, and social issues to protect individual rights on the ballot, Virginia voters would not feel so disconnected and ignored in the political process.

Essentially, our current situation is like this:

You go to your boss to schedule your vacation. She says “sounds like fun. Let’s get it on the calendar.” You try and try but she always avoids setting a time to work out the schedule. Guess what? You’re never getting that vacation. And we’re never going to get to vote on issues that impact us the most.

This is our experience with Republican Delegate Webert. Delegate Webert votes party line, every time. Delegate Webert is representing the interests of the extreme parts of the Republican Party in Virginia, not the interests of the people in District 18.

This is why I’m running for office. When I’m Delegate, the people of District 18 come first. We need people in the Statehouse who will bring issues forward that matter to us. Put me in the Statehouse and get a seat at the table.