Thursday, March 6, 2014

Welcome to the "Commonwealth"

Delegates Steve Landes, Dickie Bell, and Ben Cline are strong supporters of
Republican obstruction that is hurting people and sending our tax dollars to other states.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Medicaid Expansion in VA - It Makes Sense

Medicaid expansion makes sense for the Commonwealth of Virginia. More folks covered means a healthier community. Statewide it is estimated that over 200,000 Virginians will get needed health care and mental health services with expansion. That means good jobs at hospitals and other health care providers.

The federal government will fund the full cost for three years and 90% in subsequent years! These are tax dollars paid by Virginians that will go to other states if the General Assembly fails us on Medicaid expansion. Why is there even any debate on this? Because the GOP is playing partisan politics and their powers that be have decreed that they don't want anything that President Obama supports.

It is time to tell members of the House of Delegates who, on this issue, are misrepresenting Augusta County, Staunton, and Waynesboro to listen to constituents, not party bosses. Here is how you can do it in just a few easy steps:
  • Sign this petition calling on Delegate Steve Landes, Delegate Dickie Bell, and Delegate Ben Cline to support Medicaid expansion in Virginia.
  • Email Delegate Steve Landes and remind him that expansion will help create health care jobs in his community.
  • Email Delegate Dickie Bell and tell him that as a fiscally responsible Virginian you want your federal tax dollars coming back to the Commonwealth, not going to other states.
  • Email Delegate Ben Cline and tell him that Medicaid expansion means a healthier community.
They say "silence is golden" but in politics your silence only empowers the party bosses. Speak up!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Goodlatte: the 6th District's Fool On the Hill

Yesterday the House Judiciary Committee was working an anti-abortion bill that may pass the House of Representatives but has almost zero chance to become law. Representative Bob Goodlatte took to the mike in support of the bill making a completely asinine statement. Bobblehead Bob said restricting abortion is good for the economy because "having a growing population and having new children brought into the world... ahh... is not harmful to job creation, it very much promotes job creation...."

Looking at the experience of other nations reveals no direct correlation between abortion laws, job creation, or unemployment.

If we apply Bobblehead Bob's job creation logic into other legislative policy arenas, perhaps our fool on the hill will support opening the borders to immigrants with small children who need daycare, pediatricians, teachers, and playgrounds.

The best job creation I can imagine would be for this mis-representative to retire (voluntarily or otherwise) so folks in the 6th District will have a voice of commonsense and reason in the people's house.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Affordable Care Act: Keeping it Local

% Uninsured. Darker = More Uninsured
I am one of those whose health insurance is employer provided, so I don't really have anything to do as the Affordable Care Act takes effect. But, I've been listening to the news stories about the website woes and to other stories about coverages, availability, etc. Unfortunately, much of that information is tainted by the bias, or the lack of knowledge, of those talking the loudest.

How will ACA affect folks in the central Shenandoah Valley? How many people are uninsured? How much will it cost? How many plans are available? At this phase of buying anything new it seems there are lots of questions.

This interactive tool, publicized by the Washington Post and developed by consumer finance website ValuePenguin, lets you take a look on a county-by-county basis at the extent of the problem of uninsured Americans as well as the number of companies and the number of plans offered. It might just blow away a little of the smoke and help clear the air on ObamaCare.

For example, Rockingham County has 11, 556 uninsured individuals among its population of 63,467. That's over 18% uninsured. Three companies will be offering a total of 28 plans in Rockingham County. An individual age 30 with an annual income of $35,000 would not qualify for a subsidy and the premium of the Benchmark Silver Plan is $243.

In Augusta County there are 8,603 uninsured individuals which is 14.6% of the population. Four companies are offering 38 different plans. Once again our 30 year old making $35,000 would not qualify for a subsidy and the premium for the Benchmark Silver Plan is $246.

Check it out. Put in your own income. Explore the country. Yes, you will notice that suburban/urban areas, especially in the Northeast and Northwest typically have more companies and more choices of plans. You will notice that premiums vary by locality. You will find counties in WV and many other states, often in the South, that top 20% uninsured. Places in Texas and, I am sure other places, top 30%. How do you spell Disgraceful? How do you calculate the hidden costs for the rest of us?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Racist or NOT Racist?

Sometimes an old community stereotype just won't go away. Kind of like the hateful stereotypes inherent in racism that are all too often part of American society.

A WHSV/TV3 story about the juxtaposition of Halloween and the KKK in Craigsville, Virginia gets examined (at 2:00) in The Daily Show's "Racist or NOT Racist" segment that aired on November 13.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hometown boy?

"It ain't over till it's over," but the daily shifts in the unofficial vote tally in the attorney general's contest now has Mark Herring up by 117 votes. Mark Obenshain may wish he'd made a few more friends in his hometown - he lost Harrisonburg by 186.

Electoral boards have until the end of today to certify votes including provisional ballots. WTOP reports that on Friday the GOP dominated State Electoral Board pushed through a change in procedures used in Fairfax County that may mean most of the 400+ provisional ballots will not be counted. It would ban legal representatives from acting on behalf of a voter unless that voter is present - it is highly unlikely many will be able to show up and protect their vote. The Fairfax Electoral Board disagrees with the change but will comply. Mark Herring carried Fairfax with 61% of the vote.

Then let the recounts and challenges about uncounted ballots begin. It is likely both Marks will keep talking turkey over Thanksgiving but only one will get an early Christmas gift when all the counting and recounting finally wraps up sometime in December.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Classless Act

I'm a loser.
Apparently Ken Cuccinelli has no plans to make the traditional congratulatory call to the winner in the Virginia gubernatorial contest, Terry McAuliffe. The Cooch lost the race by 2.5% or about 55,000 votes.

Even the most bitter rival meet on the field and shake hands - loser congratulating winner even though it rips the soul. It is the right thing to do. Cuccinelli lost on Tuesday and his lack of class shows he is a loser as a human being, too. Virginian's should hope this is the last we see or hear of him.

Over 70% of my precinct voted for the three Repugs. Gives me reason to pause and reflect. Love thy neighbor as thyself only goes so far.