In Virginia’s 5th district, the proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act will devastate Virginia families. In one clinic alone in Nelson County, The Blue Ridge Medical Center, 20% of families are on Medicaid. 2000 people could lose their healthcare including 1600 children. Medicaid loss means that special needs programs in the district schools may be shut down. Older Virginians in nursing homes could lose their care. Nearly two thirds of all nursing home residents' care is financed by Medicaid.
Jobs in the healthcare industry will be slashed. Transportation for Medicaid patients will disappear, a profound loss for people in rural districts without buses, trains or taxis. Congressman Tom Garrett voted for the House bill that the Congressional Budget Office reported would strip 23 million families of Medicaid. He casually admitted he had not read the bill. When told that some were worried they might die without their coverage he said that those people didn’t vote for him.
Leslie wants to guard the rights of Virginians and preserve the best of the Affordable Care Act, ensuring that people with pre-existing conditions get care and that those low- income families who can now afford coverage will continue to receive that coverage. Right now, Virginians aged 50-64 can be charged no more than 3 times what a 21 year old would pay. The House bill that our congressman voted for would have allowed insurers to charge the oldest among us 5 times more, a change that the AARP Public Policy Institute says would increase monthly premiums for a Silver Plan by 22%. She will work to ensure that any government subsidy for opiates abuse clinics does not go to fly-by-night private providers who profit from addiction without real treatment, as has recently been exposed in Florida.
She thinks it is wrong that Congress gets the “Gold Plan” for its own members while legislating deep cuts for others. She supports “single payer” healthcare, which means Medicare for all. Leslie will add her name to the Expanded and Improved Medicare For All Act (HR 676). She will fight to reduce the extortionate cost of drugs changed by Big Pharma, in some cases a thousand times what it costs to buy the same drug in Canada. She will fight the fraud and waste in the medical industry where a hip part costing a few hundred dollars can be tens of thousands of dollars on a hospital bill.