Sunday, January 22, 2023
I am writing in response to the recent announcement from the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services https://www.alexandriava.gov/news-dchs/2023-01-11/end-of-snap-emergency-food-benefits-and-emergency-medicaid-coverage-may-affect about the upcoming end to the COVID-19 public health emergency that will result in a reduction of SNAP benefits and will cut more than 6,500
Alexandria residents off of Medicaid. (See page 3 for story).
As an Alexandrian who sees daily the growing inequality in our deeply economically divided city, I am deeply concerned about the impact this policy change will have on Alexandria residents who are already struggling. This situation only highlights the abject cruelty of our profit-driven healthcare system. Thousands of Alexandria residents are losing health coverage next month because they are not quite poor enough to qualify for Medicaid during a pandemic that is not quite dire enough to constitute an emergency. It is unconscionable that in the richest
country in the world we continue to means-test something as fundamental as health care. I urge the city of Alexandria not to cut these citizens' health care coverage, but find the funding to keep them insured.
This shows that now, more than ever, Alexandria needs Medicare For All — nationwide, single-payer, universal health coverage that would guarantee health care as a human right. More than 70 countries around the world have universal health care systems, and the policy is supported by nearly 70% of American voters. We need elected leaders with the courage and integrity to fight against the for-profit health insurance lobby and pass Medicare For All legislation, and I urge the Alexandria City Council to pass a resolution in support of universal health care.