I am a constituent in Virginia’s 7th congressional district. I am also a stage IV colorectal cancer patient, so healthcare is an issue of utmost importance to me. With the upcoming election, I have been paying attention to the stances of both Dave Brat and Abigail Spanberger.
I am enraged that Dave Brat is so loyal to corporate interests that he voted to increase the costs of medications AND repeal protections for those of us (like myself) who have pre-existing conditions. I attended the debate on Monday, Oct. 15 in Culpeper, and Abigail Spanberger made clear that she does NOT support the Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan, despite the allegations made by Dave Brat.
In March, I went to Capitol Hill to meet with Dave Brat about colorectal cancer legislation and funding. Since he was unavailable, I met with a staffer who told me that I was wasting my time and should make appointments with the only four people who have any power in Congress – Paul Ryan, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell, and Nancy Pelosi (a name that anyone who watched the debate is quite familiar with at this point.). As a constituent of Mr. Brat, I was astounded that someone in his office would tell me that a meeting with my congressman would be a poor use of my time. I visited the offices of Sen. Kaine, Senator Warner, and Congressman Wittman, and their staff gave their their full attention and sincerely listened to my story. Even though Congressman Wittman is a Republican, who voted for the AHCA, his team still showed me nothing but respect and concern. Dave Brat voted to remove price gouging protections against people with preexisting conditions, and also voted to give pharmaceutical companies $42 billion in tax breaks, while increasing the deficit by $1.9 TRILLION. Is he representing corporations? Or is he representing the almost 50,000 constituents in the 7th who would have lost coverage under the AHCA, not to mention those with preexisting conditions who would be priced out of the healthcare they need to survive? I want a congressperson who is willing to listen to everyone in the district to represent me in Washington.
I had the opportunity to speak with Abigail Spanberger at one of her meet-and-greets as well as one-on-one at her campaign office. I find her approachable and receptive to hearing concerns of voters in the 7th district. I appreciate that she wants all Virginians to have access to quality, affordable health care. She does not support Bernie Sander’s Medicare-for-all plan, despite Brat’s false claims, and instead believes in a public option that will use the market to drive down costs for everyone, whether you keep your employer plan or buy into the public option. Abigail does not accept corporate donations and does not approve of Nancy Pelosi. She is her own candidate who is committed to rational, bipartisan solutions that prioritize the citizens of Virginia’s 7th–not corporate donors and the 1%.
I will be casting my vote for Abigail Spanberger on November 6th and am fully confident that she will represent me and all of the 7th district well, given her law enforcement experience, commitment to common sense policies, and passion for public service.