Time to reflect on Monday’s Town Hall meeting with Del. Peter Farrell, and State Senators Bryce Reese and Tom Garrett. The three Republican Virginian State representatives spent the first half of the meeting talking about bills they have introduced in state government that had nothing to do with Medicaid Expansion. Then they began a Q&A session from constituents where the only topic of discussion was Medicaid Expansion.
Missing from the Town Hall meeting was the discussion of how inequality of wealth correlates with citizen health; a strong economy brings a country out of poverty resulting in citizens living longer and healthier. In “Inequality for All” Robert Reich’s states that “over the past 40 years our government has destroyed the middle class by deregulation and privatization.” A deregulated Wall Street made it easy for investors to gamble and lose people’s money, maximize corporate profits by firing workers and sending their jobs overseas to cheaper workforces. For years this practice worked and stock prices rose significantly.
Americans were brainwashed into thinking “if they bailed out Wall Street that would help the economy.” However, the bailout did nothing for the average citizen because nothing trickled down from Wall Street. Americans were brainwashed into thinking “high tax rates reduce the growth of our economy;” actually, high taxes on the wealthy elite enabled America to expand the prosperity of the middle class and increase economic growth for average citizens and the wealthy. Americans were brainwashed into thinking “Government was the problem and Free Markets were the solution.” Voters forgot about the Great Depression … having occurred because of unregulated investors and unconstrained greed that concentrates wealth at the top. Over the last 40 years, the top 1% of the population went from owning 6% of our nation’s wealth to owning 25%. As the middle class disappears, the government needed to play a bigger role in social services to citizens hurt by corporate greed … hence the need for Medicaid Expansion for the working poor.
Inequality of wealth and health continues in America … recently McCutcheon v. FEC Supreme Court decision permits the wealthy elite to buy elections, to own the US Government, and to make laws that help them accumulate more wealth. The wealthy oligarchy seeks to end Social Security, end Medicare, and end Medicaid because these humanitarian programs don’t make profits.
Our Virginia House of Delegates is following the same ‘modus operandi” as the oligarchy that seeks to gut our Democracy. They inhibit any solution of improving America’s economy; they point fingers to blame others for destroying the middle class; they applaud the removal of medical safety nets for Americans that are in need. They refuse to negotiate with the democratically elected leaders to make them look weak when they actually are fighting to keep the middle class alive.
So the question to Farrell, Reese and Garrett is “Who do you represent in state government … the wealthy elite or the average citizen of Virginia?” Your answer is directly linked to the Medicaid Expansion.