A partisan cohort in Virginia’s General Assembly may rejoice over Sen. Phillip P. Puckett’s (D-Russell) resignation [“ ‘Uncertainty’ on Medicaid as Va. senator moves to quit,” front page, June 9]. But if we fail to close the health coverage gap this year, only the ethically misguided and fiscally incompetent will find cause to celebrate while the rest of the commonwealth bears the costs.
If obstruction succeeds, we’ll forfeit billions of dollars in federal taxes and hundreds of millions in state emergency care savings every year and sacrifice some 30,000 needed health-related jobs while straining local hospitals, according to a study commissioned by the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. Worst of all, we’ll leave 400,000 low-income Virginians, including many of our hardest-working, without basic health care, costing hundreds of lives annually. Meanwhile, partisans appear stuck in a “see no facts, hear no facts, speak no facts” political loop, oblivious to the damage.
Obstruction may be shrewd politics, but it’s a disastrous substitute for responsible governance and robs Virginians of lives, jobs and $5 million a day in benefits we’re already paying for. It’s past time for a solution.
James A. Lindsay Jr., Arlington