Virginia is one of a handful of states that hasn’t refused Syrian refugees and we can thank Governor Terry McAuliffe for that. But his decision hasn’t been without pushback.
State Senator Bill Carrico (below) is one of the Republicans in the state asking McAuliffe to reconsider his decision. Carrico has a history of putting his beliefs ahead of the law, previously pushing through an unnecessary student prayer bill as well as legislation allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against gay parents. He’s also opposed to Medicaid expansion that could provide care to approximately 400,000 residents in the state. Because that’s what Christ would do.
Now, Matt Skeens, a resident of Virginia, has written a letter to Carrico urging him to reconsider his Medicaid opposition using the exact same language that Carrico used in his letter to McAuliffe. I’ve bold-faced the parts that match up verbatim.
Dear Senator Bill Carrico:
I am asking you to join, what has now become, a majority of the country’s governors in expanding Medicaid to 400,000 citizens in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Despite of recent hospital shutdowns in rural Virginia and record numbers of patients treated at Remote Area Medical clinics in your districts, it is certainly plausible that you will continue to ignore to do what’s best for thousands of Appalachians and exploit the poverty and employment crisis within the dying coal industry. Still, I have hope. Therefore, I urge you in the strongest possible terms to vote in favor of an amended budget that includes Medicaid expansion in the next legislative session.
Given the limited time that is available for thousands, certainly hundreds of thousands of Virginians who desperately need care, how can you continue to deny them the potentially lifesaving medical care they need? It’s simple; you cannot. Even if you believe that you are 99 percent correct in your clearly irresponsible and pathetically partisan position, which would mean there is a one percent chance that some resemblance of moral conscience could enter you. I would have thought that your Christian conscience and “loving thy neighbor” would make these decisions, that are as clear as day to me as a compassionate humanist, some of the easiest during your time as Senator. I appear to be wrong.
Sadly, just as we learned with the hospital closing in Lee County, Virginia, even a small hospital shutting down can inflict catastrophic results on a very significant level resulting in a number of chronically sick residents and casualties in this politically motivated war on Appalachians. Given our proximity to poverty and a lack of access to basic healthcare needs, your district is a prime staging ground for an expanded Medicaid program to launch an attack at these chronic and potentially deadly issues facing your constituents.
My first priority, as a citizen of this great Commonwealth and a humanist, is the safety and security of Virginians. It seems to also be a newfound priority of yours in light of the recent debate regarding heavily vetted Syrian refugees coming the Commonwealth that has prompted you to urge our Governor to reject these yearning souls whom are more heavily vetted than foreign students on VISA’s attending our fine institutions of higher learning in Virginia. If we are to error, should we not error on the side of the citizens you claim to represent? I urge you to reconsider your position and stand with the majority of the nation’s governors, hundreds of localities and healthcare systems in your district and districts in which your fellow republican colleagues across Virginia, such as Senator Ben Chafin, Delegate Todd Pillion, and Delegate Israel O’Quinn who have also rejected Medicaid expansion and spoken-out recently against Syrian refuge, to now support any effort to expand healthcare to 400,000 Virginians who cannot afford any further callousness and fiscal irresponsibility put forward by state representatives such as yourself. You have repeatedly put forth bills and cast votes that represent your “faith”. I ask that you, if even just in these instances, try the humanism that I have embraced and acquired growing up in poverty, as a survivor of multiple bouts with cancer, and simply a lifelong citizen of your district. Do what is right.
If I can assist you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.
You have to wonder why someone who claims to be Christian would do so much to hurt the people who need assistance the most. But I fully expect Carrico to dismiss Skeen’s letter even though it mimics his own thinking. After all, hypocrisy is part of the Republican platform these days.
(Image via Twitter)