Constituents Ask Comstock to Moderate Her Stance

The American Action Network is currently pouring millions of dollars into national advertising to pressure vulnerable GOP Representatives to vote for the AHCA. One of the targeted Members is Barbara Comstock, of Virginia’s 10th Congressional District.

However, she is also receiving a large volume of letters from her constituents, beseeching her not to repeal the ACA, among other issues. Who will she listen to? A 501(c)(4) organization founded by wealthy donors, or the people who voted for her to represent them in Congress?


 

AHCA protest
Constituents gather outside Comstock’s Sterling office to protest the ACA-repeal/Kathy Shupe

 

Read on, to learn what they’ve been saying to Ms. Comstock…

A letter to Barbara Comstock

Representative Comstock:

On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, I received an email from you lauding the provisions of the AHCA (American Health Care Act).

I immediately emailed you and spoke to one of your staffers concerning my doubts about your position. I stated that there were three items you chose not to address:

1. Millions of current Americans who have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act would lose that insurance.

2. Millions of women would lose access to medical services due to the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

3. Millions of children, working poor, and the disabled would lose access to medical services due to the rollback of Medicaid.

I also stated that I felt it was premature of you to issue your email PRIOR to the release of the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the effects of the AHCA.

The report has now been issued (please note that the Chairman of the CBO is Keith Hall, a Republican, who was confirmed with the approval of Tom Price, a Republican, who is now the head of the Department of Health and Human Services).

The report confirms the 3 noted issues above:

1. Millions of people WILL lose their health insurance under AHCA.

2. Millions of women WILL lose access to medical care due to defunding Planned Parenthood.

3. Millions of children, working poor, and the disabled WILL lose access to medical care due to the rollback of Medicaid.

In fact, the analysis produced by the White House itself indicated that even MORE people would lose their health insurance than was indicated by the CBO report.

In light of the above, it is incomprehensible that you would still support the AHCA, especially since studies concerning the constituents in the 10th Congressional District, indicate that anywhere between 30,000 and 40,000 of your own constituents would lose their health insurance.

I urge you to reverse your stance on AHCA. I also urge you to publicly so state your reversal. You cannot, in good conscience, abandon those tens of thousands of your own constituents who are depending on you to protect their right to health insurance.

Larry Dodd, VA-10


Dear Congresswoman Comstock

What I find amazing is that a majority of Trump’s voters are the ones that will be left behind with no opportunity to better themselves or their families. And they’re taking the rest of us with them.

The coal industry is dead, manufacturing jobs are few and far between. Education, jobs, housing is out of the picture because you’re not the right shade of white.

Education of the poor, feeding the hungry, caring for the elderly and the sick, providing shelter for the poor and our vets, elimination of environmental protections, every single human need that we, as good people, care the most about, is being denigrated by the 1%. Yes, the 1%.

They haven’t missed a meal since the day they were born. Never had to face the struggle of ensuring their kids had the best education possible, or the warmest clothes, or a place to lay down at night, or the best medicine. Don’t even get me started on the subject of refugees and immigrants. We’re becoming a country of people who turn our backs on those that need us the most. We are quickly becoming America LAST when it comes to taking care of our own.

There are many of us that are one paycheck away from shopping in the cat food aisle, with the inability to even afford basic healthcare. Home bound seniors and military vets who count on that one meal a day and companionship to get through the day.

I started watching Mick Mulvaney’s press conference and had to turn it off, it literally made me sick to my stomach. But on a good note, it made me even more outraged and determined to fight this administration, to the death, if need be. These snippets of outrageous statements are meant to distract, from Russia, from immigration, from the Muslim Ban.

We have an opportunity to flip the House and the Senate starting in Virginia this year. All eyes are on us to lead the way. Are you looking to be flipped? It sure does seem that way.

I hear from the GOP that they think people just like me will get tired of the fight and give up. Oh boy, are they ever wrong. Even moderate Republicans are joining in the fight to take our country back from an authoritarian regime. I respectfully request that you vote NO on this budget as introduced. The lives of your constituents, your country and your job depend on it. Sincerely, Marilyn Karp


Dear Representative Comstock,

This is the first time that I have written a letter to a member of Congress, let alone organized a protest, but these are very troubling times. The country is exhausted after only 4 weeks of the Trump Presidency. I know you are aware of the offensive and inflammatory actions Donald Trump has taken over the past year so I don’t feel the need to repeat them to you here.

Today, on the first of many national strikes against Trump and his policies, we are asking you to take the following actions:

1.Vote against Trump’s actions on immigration. The Muslim ban is immoral, the wall is expensive and ineffectual. Also, we should not be deporting non-violent individuals who have lived here for decades, many of whom have American born children. We need immigrants to come out of the shadows through a work permit system.

2. Support healthcare for all. Healthcare is a human right. Do not repeal the ACA. Improve it or enact Medicare for all.

3. Reject the DAPL and Keystone Pipelines. Rescind approval for DAPL and Keystone XL and adopt meaningful policies to protect our environment.

4. Demand that Donald Trump disclose his taxes and sell his company. We want ethical leaders in Washington. We want you and others in the legislative branch to hold the executive branch accountable.

5. Support reproductive rights for women and do not allow the government to regulate women’s bodies.

I applaud you for standing up to Mr. Trump in the past. You called Trump’s behavior towards women “disgusting, vile, and disqualifying.” You have said Trump “doesn’t know anything about the economy.” You called Trump’s attack on a Mexican American judge last year “abhorrent and indefensible.” You called Trump’s plan to ban Muslim immigrants “un-American” and “a silly idea.” You donated money you received from Trump to charity. In regards to the recent travel ban, you said “the President’s Executive Order issued yesterday went beyond the increased vetting actions that Congress has supported.” All of this is very encouraging

It must also be said, however, that you have voted 100% of the time for Trump’s policies in Congress thus far. You voted to repeal the Department of education rules on school accountability and teacher preparation programs. You voted to repeal the rule requiring energy companies to reduce waste and emissions and to disclose payments to foreign governments. You voted against allowing the Social Security Administration to provide information on people with severe mental illnesses to the background check system for people buying guns. You voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. I hope that you will reschedule your recent town hall meeting that was cancelled so we can continue a dialogue on these and other issues.

I am asking that you continue to stand up to Donald Trump when he takes actions that are illegal, unconstitutional or un-American. We need members of Congress like yourself to act as a check against Donald Trump’s dictatorial tendencies. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my concerns with you.

Respectfully,

Christopher L. Monroe

Dear Congresswoman,

I am your constituent, on the edge of your district in Gainesville (20155). I am writing to tell you about my grandmother and how Meals on Wheels was an important part of her maintaining her independence for an extra year. My grandmother suffers from dementia. However, she was in a middle place for a year, where she could no longer drive or use a stove, but she could stay in her own home (with visiting nurses and family checking in). One way she was able to maintain that year of independence was through Meals on Wheels.

My grandmother wasn’t able to remember if she’d eaten. She never felt hungry. But every day, a platter was delivered to her, and so she knew she hadn’t yet had lunch or dinner. It reminded her to eat. And the human contact allowed us to feel a little safer in honoring her most sincere wish of remaining in her home for absolutely as long as possible. The meals were nutritious, fresh, easy to cut and chew, and appealed to my grandmother. She would actually eat when her meal arrived. Meals on Wheels preserved my grandmothers independence for an extra year. Without them, she’d have been forced to move in with my mother earlier. She’s still with us, declining, losing more of her memory, but she still occasionally asks to go home. I will forever be grateful to Meals on Wheels for helping give my grandmother the gift of dignity.

Please, when evaluating the President’s budget proposal, do everything you can to preserve this relatively inexpensive program. It is deeply important to our older generation and helps allow them to be healthy in their own homes longer.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Adelle Settle


Read Guy Potucek’s Letter to the Editor, published in Loudon Now:


Though Congresswoman Comstock has yet to issue a public statement about whether or not she intends to support the AHCA bill when it comes to a floor vote, her private responses have not been reassuring, despite the many people who continue to plead with her not to support this disastrous legislation. Read an email response she sent, recently:

Dear [Constituent],

Thank you for contacting me with your opinion on the American Health Care Act. I appreciate you taking the time to share your views and comments with me. In case you have not had the opportunity to review the legislation in full, you may do so by clicking HERE. I look forward to keeping you informed as both the House Committee on Ways and Means and House Committee on Energy and Commerce hold public hearings where amendments will be offered and considered.

The American Health Care Act is a culmination of years of research, hearings, and input from a wide array of stakeholders including experts in health, physicians, and patients. It is a reform package built on the flaws and lessons learned from the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare. This legislation is intended to be the beginning of a broader, multi-step reform process that is already underway and will continue with administrative actions by HHS Secretary Dr. Tom Price to stabilize the health insurance market, increase choices, and address costs. Additionally, the following provisions are included in this legislation:

Ensures coverage for people with pre-existing conditions
Preserves provision to allow young adults to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26
Forbids life-time limits on insurance coverage
Removes ACA taxes on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, health-insurance premiums, and medical devices
Provides a transition to a system in which those without coverage through government or work receive a tax credit to purchase from an expanded set of insurance options
Establishes a Patient and State Stability Fund to provide $100 billion to states to design programs which meet their unique needs and help low-income Americans afford care
Expands Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Eliminates individual and employer mandate tax penalties
Transitions Medicaid to a “per capita allotment” to give states more control and the ability to serve those most in need
Bars insurers from charging more based on gender and maintains Essential Health Benefits including maternity, newborn, and pediatric care
Provides a $422 million increase to the Community Health Center Program for FY17
Maintains insurance for the more than 150 million Americans who receive employer sponsored health care

In the coming weeks, we will continue to work on additional reforms to provide better, patient-centered health care. We must ensure this care is affordable for hardworking families and individuals while protecting the most vulnerable among us. The complexity of our health care system warrants careful consideration to ensure we have a thorough understanding of the interconnectedness of our public and private expenditures so that we produce a sustainable result and achieve sufficient enrollment to spread risk. I look forward to our continued dialogue during this important process.

Thank you again for contacting me. It is a privilege to serve you in the Tenth District. I may also be contacted at my Sterling office at 703-404-6903, or my Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-5136. By visiting http://comstock.house.gov, you can sign up to receive my email newsletters and follow my efforts to serve you. If I may ever be of service, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Barbara Comstock
Member of Congress


Representative Comstock would do well to read the writing on the wall. Since the CBO report has come out, moderate Republicans as well as conservative ones have been lining up to condemn the proposed bill. Senators have already begun going on record as not planning to support it.

Two days ago, the 538 Report wrote, “some House Republicans are sticking by Trump in his early days, potentially at their political peril. FiveThirtyEight’s Trump Tracker shows that Virginia’s Barbara Comstock and California’s Darrell Issa have voted 100 percent of the time with the president’s position so far, even as those two members live in districts Clinton won in 2016. Partisanship exerts a strong pull.”

If Ms. Comstock doesn’t listen to her constituents, partisanship may pull her entirely out of office in 2018.

 

Trump care is no care
Photo: by Kathy Shupe

 

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