Everything to Everyone

Senator Hanger
Senator Hanger

Last night, Virginia State Senator Emmett Hanger was the featured speaker at the Harrisonburg Tea Party.  He spoke on the subject of Medicaid expansion.  Specifically, he argued that Virginia ought to expand the Medicaid program in order to take advantage of the federal dollars available that Virginians already pay.

During the question and answer period that followed, Senator Hanger received considerable criticism from the audience.  One person stood up and asked him where in the Constitution is it listed that the federal government has the authority to be involved in health care.  Senator Hanger stated that one could not find such a power, but we as a society have evolved in such a way as to expect the government to do such things.

Unfortunately, the attitude displayed by Senator Hanger seems to be fairly commonplace among considerable segments of both society and the Republican Party these days.  We ought to make the government efficient as possible (which I can certainly appreciate), and ought to take advantage of every program, but we shouldn’t ask why the government is involved in these facets of life and certainly shouldn’t try to constrain the government by constitutional limitations.  Now, to be fair, Senator Hanger did not say these words, but it did seem to be an unspoken theme.

So, do you need healthcare?  Don’t worry!  The state or feds have you covered.  A role that was previously handled by individuals (or for those who could not afford it, churches and charities) for a majority of our nation’s history has been taken over by the government.  Little by little, day by day, the government is becoming everything to everyone.

One glaring problem (besides the whole constitutional issue, of course) is that government run programs are rarely efficient.  Now that’s not to say that there isn’t a role for government, for I believe that there certainly is, but to have the city, state, or feds in the sphere of private business is a recipe for disaster.  One glaring example in Harrisonburg local politics is the city run golf course.  Whether you are a citizen of Harrisonburg or not, two questions you should ask are: Should the city run a golf course when there are privately run courses available?  And am I happy that the city net spends around half a million dollars of the taxpayers’ money each year to maintain this course?

Despite what Senator Hanger suggested last night, just because I don’t want to see people dying in street doesn’t mean that I believe that the government ought to assume control of healthcare.

Given that I reference the song in the title of this post, let me leave you with Everclear’s “Everything to Everyone”.  I think you’ll find many of the lyrics apply to the ever increasing power of government.

The Schmookler & Huffman Show (Episode IX)

As the title of this post indicates, today’s radio program on 550 AM WSVA marked the ninth episode where Andy Schmookler & Joshua Huffman appeared to discuss politics.

Topics included: the Virginia budget & medicaid expansion in the state as well as Crimea and U.S. foreign policy.

If you were unable to tune in, or would like to hear the hour again, you can find it here.

Thanks for listening!

Medicaid Expansion, A Done Deal?

Yesterday while in Washington, I received word from a reliable source that Medicaid expansion will be coming to Virginia.  There will be a number of token speeches and meaningless votes against the plan, but at the end of the day the majority of legislators will not halt it.  I’ve been told that the Republican controlled House of Delegates could kill such a proposal, but the leadership is unwilling to do so.  There will be a good show, but it will only be an act, a performance to placate conservative voters back home while secretly selling them out.

It seems that former lieutenant governor candidate Susan Stimpson got the memo as well.  She sent out an email on the same subject.  As Ms. Stimpson wrote, “Today the GOP leadership in the House of Delegates is holding a staged vote against Medicaid/ObamaCare Expansion.  It’s a cynical attempt to cast a vote that can be used for political cover in 2015 primary contests.”.  She presented one solution to the problem saying, “If Republican leaders were serious about stopping Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, they would be pushing to amend current law to prevent the Governor from making an end run around the legislature and expanding Medicaid on his own.”

Friends, Virginians were sold out last year with the massive transportation tax hike.  And now it seems that we are being deceived once more by our legislators in Richmond.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be represented by anyone who abrogates his or her duty and sells out to the powers that be in the federal government.  Therefore, I encourage you to discover where your delegate and state senator really stands on the issue of medicaid expansion and a whole host of other topics.  If the rhetoric doesn’t match action, then we must do what we can to make sure this mistake is corrected.