In the race for state senator in the 26th District, the one clear choice is Democrat April Moore, if only for the fact that sending her to Richmond will guarantee a vote in the Senate to accept the federal Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, which would allow thousands of worthy Virginians to obtain badly needed medical insurance.
These Virginians are our neighbors who work hard every day, yet the only time they see a doctor is when they go to the emergency room. They are not “looters,” “moochers” or “losers,” but good people trying their best to get by in an economy where employers demand ever-higher productivity for less compensation and no longer feel the need to provide the benefits that were once common in the American workplace.
The incumbent, Republican Mark Obenshain, has consistently voted to reject the money for the Medicaid expansion — which, by the way, will not come out of the wallets of Old Dominion taxpayers. As a result, hospitals which would have received millions of dollars are cutting back on services, especially in rural areas, as patients go without treatment. Some medical facilities are shutting down completely, leaving their communities immeasurably poorer.
Besides the obvious cost in human suffering, Obenshain’s votes have robbed the Virginia economy of the stability necessary for it to grow, thrive and fully recover from the Great Recession. A vote to expand Medicaid in Virginia is pro-worker, pro-child, pro-family and profoundly in the American tradition of promoting the general welfare as spelled out in the preamble to the United States Constitution.
And let’s say this for Mark Obenshain, his voting record in the Virginia Senate is consistent in its indifference, both to the misfortune of animals and humans alike, for he is one of only five senators to vote against regulating “puppy mills.”
April Moore is a former elementary school teacher and a grandmother, the kind of Virginian we need more of in the state Senate. Elect her on Nov. 3 and help make the commonwealth a better place for all her citizens.