A political divide slices right through Asheville, separating the city, county and region into Congressional Districts 10 and 11. We are currently “represented” by conservatives Patrick McHenry and Mark Meadows due to some gerrymandering a while back by the Republican-dominated state legislature.
Recently in a heavy-handed, cost-cutting move, McHenry and Meadows united in trying to replace the Affordable Care Act with a draconian plan that would have caused thousands of their constituents to lose health insurance coverage that they had gained under the ACA. Fortunately, the ill-conceived bill foundered and was withdrawn, but it may emerge from the ashes.
Hundreds of requests have been made of Meadows and McHenry to hold health care town meetings in their districts. But they continue to say that they will “hold them in August,” which, given the resurgence of citizen activism, is neglect of their duty to exchange views with citizens.
As the April 7-23 Congressional recess approaches, local groups are inviting our congressmen to open meetings: Our Revolution and Indivisible are sponsoring a “Medicare for All” Town Hall for Meadows’ 11th District constituents on the courthouse lawn in Waynesville Sunday, April 23, at 3 p.m. Rep. McHenry has not responded to formal requests for smaller meetings at his office in Black Mountain.
Republicans like McHenry and Meadows seemed willing to trade a $34 billion a year federal budget deficit reduction for cutting up to 24 million old, sick and poor citizens from the rolls of the properly insured. Meanwhile, the top 2 percent of wealthy Americans would have received $60 billion in tax cuts every year.
We cannot and should not allow this habitual conservative Republican “Reverse Robin Hood” disposition to continually shift more billions from the working class to the superrich. If enough of us speak up for affordable, universal health care for all hardworking Americans, perhaps Reps. McHenry, Meadows and the rest of Congress will enact a humane and fiscally responsible health care plan like single-payer Medicare for All.
— Frank L. Fox