During the Trump era, bright spots for progressives are few and far between as we are forced to sit and watch helplessly as the President and his gallery of ghouls stuff our federal courts with unqualified extremists, dismantle the public safety net, and generally tear down our nation as we know it.
But the slew of recent Democratic electoral victories in Virginia and Democrat Ralph Northam’s win in the gubernatorial race is already paying off in a huge way.
BREAKING: The Virginia Senate just voted to expand Medicaid. Virginia will be the 34th state (including DC) to expand Medicaid. This is a major victory that will transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of families.
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) May 30, 2018
On Wednesday, the Virginia Senate voted to approve the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. Once the House passes the bill, as it is expected to, they will send the bill to be signed by Democratic Governor Ralph Northam.
The win will expand healthcare access to nearly half a million low-income Virginians, immediately providing substantial improvements to their material lives and is an infuriating defeat for the Trump administration and the billionaire Koch brothers, who unsuccessfully lobbied hard to keep the bill from passing.
Unfortunately, it’s not all bread and roses. There are some serious problems with the deal that the Democrats were forced to strike with statehouse Republicans in order to get the bill passed in the first place, like work requirements and a mandate that forces enrollees above the federal poverty line to pay more out of their own wallets for their healthcare.
But it’s a start on the road to better things, one that highlights the critical importance of doubling down and voting in a tidal wave of blue Democrats to seize statehouses and Senates across the nation.
Virginia will be the second state in the Trump era to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Maine voted to expand the program on a ballot measure last year, though deranged Governor Paul LePage has refused to implement the program and is currently battling a lawsuit over it.
It just goes to show how important our elections are – and how important it is to contest every race, no matter how local. The Democratic Party gave away nearly a thousand seats during the Obama years, and for far too long our state legislatures have been strangled by a group of radical extremists who don’t represent the vast majority of the voters in their states.
But don’t despair. Today’s win shows just how quickly the tides can change – so let’s double our efforts and make sure we ride a blue tsunami to power this November.
Next stop? Medicare for all!