You Have a Voice on Healthcare

With all the drama in the White House these days, it’s easy to forget that the President and his party just made major progress toward destroying the American health care system.

TrumpCare is opposed by every major group of health professionals in the country. As I recently wrote in the Deseret News,

Not only did Trumpcare get rushed through without so much as a single hearing or a full CBO score, it is also condemned by every major medical group, patients’ rights group or medical professional’s association, including the American Medical Association; the American Nurses Association; the American College of Physicians; the American Academy of Family Physicians; the American Hospital Association; the Federation of American Hospitals; the American Psychiatric Association; the American College of Physicians; the National Nurses United; the National Physicians Alliance; the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons; the American Academy of Pediatrics; and the AARP.

You’d think public policy this terrible would warrant at least a little opposition from Utah’s elected Representatives. You’d think they’d remember that Utahns need healthcare, too.

In fact, according to the Utah Health Policy Project, Utah has the highest percentage of children enrolled in coverage from the Affordable Care Act--the bill our Representatives voted to replace with Trumpcare.

My opponent supported this bill. In fact, she’s proud of her vote. That scares me and it should scare you. I have children who need specialized healthcare. My friends and neighbors need healthcare. And our Representative in Congress is excited about burning the system to the ground.

Your voice is needed; we must be louder than the cacophony in Washington. Our health is too important to leave up to partisans who support terrible policy just because their party leader, Donald Trump, says he likes it.


Healthcare Is a Right

President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, known as “Obamacare,” was based on a conservative idea.

This conservative idea was proposed by the conservative Heritage Foundation in the 80s, proposed by Republicans as an alternative to “HillaryCare” in the 90s, and successfully implemented by a Republican in the 2000s.

Obamacare was a step in the right direction, but, as I recently wrote in the Deseret News, we aren’t quite there yet:

Obamacare was not a perfect bill. We still haven’t achieved universal coverage. Premiums still continued to rise — as they had before Obamacare was in place. America still spends 17 percent of GDP on health care, which is more than any other developed country by a long shot. And our health outcomes just aren’t keeping up.

We’ve tried it the conservatives’ way. And, coming from a person living in a state full of conservatives, they deserve our thanks for coming up with a solution that has gotten us this far.

But we’re not there yet. This is why I support a Single Payer system--Medicare for All. Nobody likes “middlemen” who raise the prices of things we need - and yet that’s exactly how we’ve structured healthcare. And the industry that’s getting rich off gatekeeping health care is one of the top donors to members of Congress. No wonder we don’t get change!

I am simply not comfortable rationing care based on wealth. That seems to be the exact opposite of what we believe here in Utah. We believe that families are the fundamental unit of society, not the wealthy family, but all families. All families deserve to have quality health care.

We’re blessed to live in the richest country in the history of the world - and yet we live in the only developed country in the world without guaranteed access to health care.

It’s time for US to fix that problem.


Team Utah

There’s a lot to divide us Utahns. BYU or Utah? Mormon or not? Democrat or Republican?

It’s pretty easy to focus on what divides us.

It can be a lot harder to remember what unites us.

We should all remember the wise words of our last eloquent and patriotic president:

The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into red states and blue states; red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the red states. We coach Little League in the blue states and yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

I hope throughout this campaign that we’re able to remember that we are one people here in Utah. There is far more that unites us than divides us. All of us living here, benefiting from our wonderful public school teachers, breathing the same air (or choking on it, as the case may be), marveling at Delicate Arch and Timpanogos Cave, getting a little carsick driving the Alpine Loop but doing it again because it’s so beautiful.

Let’s not let the pundits divide us. We can disagree about stuff. Even important stuff like politics. Or religion. But we still belong to the same state.

Let’s look out for each other, look past our differences, and remember that we all pledge allegiance to the same stars and stripes.


Why Did Republicans Keep Trumpcare a Secret?

Democrats believed that once people understood Obamacare, they would like it. And there is plenty of polling to prove them right — as early as 2010, polls showed support for most of the individual provisions of Obamacare at much higher rates than for “Obamacare” itself. The anti-Obamacare marketing campaigners had been very effective.

(Speaking of which, have you seen the “death panels” the Republicans promised us? Funny how those never actually happened, isn’t it?)

There is a big difference in how Republicans are behaving now. Whereas Democrats believed that people would love their bill as soon as they fully understood it, Republicans believe that people will hate TrumpCare as soon as they fully understand it.

And they’re right. Unsurprisingly, it’s not super popular to take money from poor and sick people and give it to rich people in the form of tax breaks.

And it will never be popular. The Republicans are embracing a strategy of backroom policymaking because they know what sunlight would do to their whole process.

Our current Representative won’t stand up to Donald Trump. I know you and I both want someone to stand up to Trump. Let’s join forces to send her a message.


Obamacare Repeal Will Hurt Women

You probably know I don’t think Obamacare is perfect. I’ve written about this in a previous emails, in a Deseret News op-ed, and on my website.

But it has done a lot of good, especially when it comes to women’s access to contraception:

 

Donald Trump’s terrifying Obamacare repeal attempt, supported by Paul Ryan and every Utah Republican in the House of Representatives, is designed in such a way that the gains listed in this chart will be reversed. Women will have to pay out of pocket for their contraception. Keep in mind that insurance companies have covered Viagra for men, but didn’t cover women’s contraception until Obamacare made them. The Republicans want us to go back to the good old days before Obamacare levelled the field.

As access to contraception increases, the abortion rate goes down!

So when conservatives express their concerns about the abortion rate, you can tell them they can thank their president for working overtime to make it go up. It’s that simple.

We can’t let this happen. Together, we can let Paul Ryan and Mia Love know that women deserve all the health care we need.


Down Ballot: Local Politics

I made a decision early on in this campaign that it can’t be about me. Democrats need to win up and down the ballot in 2018. We need to win this seat in Congress from Mia Love, but we also need to compete seriously in the State House and Senate.

Redistricting is coming up again in a few years, so 2018 might be our last chance to tip the scales and break the Republican supermajority in Utah.

I took out an ad at the State Democratic convention earlier this summer. It lists the State House and State Senate seats that are at least partially in our district. My campaign is dedicated to making sure that at least one serious Democrat is ready to run in every one of these districts.

 

A few of these seats are currently held by Democrats. We hope they will file for re-election in 2018. But if they don’t, we’ll make sure another Democrat does.

Please let me know if you’d like to learn more about running for office next year.

I will do whatever I can to help Democrats across the district. This matters.

Even if we don’t win every race, we’ll show Republicans that they can’t get away with their policies without some serious resistance.


The Office of Lincoln

I go out of my way to not defend Nazis. It seems to be a pretty reasonable line I’ve drawn for myself, and most everyone I know has similar thoughts on the issue.

As an African-American woman and as a patriotic American citizen, I can’t even get my mind around the ambivalence toward Nazis, the KKK, and other white supremacists shown by the President of the United States.

This man holds the office of President Lincoln. He replaced President Obama.

He seems to be going out of his way to undo all their hard work. Trump’s unwillingness to unequivocally condemn Nazis and the KKK (without completely undoing that condemnation the next day) is creating a house divided, just as Lincoln warned.

His moral relativism is creating two Americas, like President Obama so eloquently spoke of back in 2004. Only instead of “red states” and “blue states,” Trump is going out of his way to elevate the KKK and neo-Nazis.

I don’t know where we go from here, at least as long as Trump is still in office. I certainly don’t have much trust in our current elected officials to do the right thing and put country before party. What will a Trump agenda look like for civil rights, religious freedoms, and voting rights in this country?

Will you please help my campaign stand up to Donald Trump?

I can’t do it without you.


Utah Values

"The biggest need in politics and government today is for people of integrity and courage, who will do what they believe is right and not worry about the political consequences to themselves"

--Reva Beck Bosone, first woman to serve in Congress from Utah

It’s been decades since Utah has elected a non-Mormon to the US Congress. So, what makes me think I have a chance?

It’s no secret that Utah is predominantly Mormon. Most of Utah’s elected officials, up and down the ballot, belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When you think about it, that makes sense. People like to have representatives who are part of their circle. We tend to vote for people who are like us.

I am a Quaker. I was raised by a faithful Pentecostal minister. I moved to Utah 15 years ago to raise my children in this state’s wonderful family-friendly environment. I believe strongly in my Christian foundation, and I deeply respect my fellow neighbors of all faiths or of no faith. We might not agree on all religious topics, but we respect each other’s sincere beliefs.

When Jesus was asked “who is my neighbor,” he answered with the powerful story of the good Samaritan. He could have said “your neighbor is someone who belongs to your church.” He didn’t. He purposely picked the Samaritans, who believed differently than the Jews.

I love and respect my Mormon neighbors, and I will boldly stand up for all Utah values.

I won’t be the first. Reva Beck Bosone, the first female Representative from Utah, was not LDS. She was a trailblazing pioneer, first sent to DC in 1948. Karen Shepherd, elected in 1992 to Congress, was also not Mormon, and yet her public service still hasn’t abated, decades after first being voted into office.

My candidacy builds on the shoulders of these great Samaritans who served and represented their fellow Utahns even though they weren’t exactly the same.

My candidacy builds on the deep goodwill Mormons have for people who share Utah values.

My candidacy has a chance because it is fundamentally based on Utah values. Please join me.

I can’t do it without you.


A Better Deal

The DNC recently released a new slogan:

“A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages.”

Who knows if one slogan will fix the Democrats’ woes. Regardless, I am very excited to be running to represent Utah values. I believe that Utahns have more in common than we realize.

When I talk to people across my district, I see that we’re all on the same page. We all want what’s best for our children. We all want to help our neighbors. We all want to fight poverty and stand up for the rights of the oppressed (whether the oppression is for religion, sexual orientation, race, disability, sex, or anything else). We know that people matter.

It’s time for Utahns to get a better deal.

We need the freedom to breathe without being poisoned. We need the freedom to send our children to schools where teachers are valued, schools that aren’t overcrowded and underfunded. We need the freedom to pursue the American Dream without being one illness or one accident away from bankruptcy.

Utah families deserve better. We deserve a representative who will fight for us all.


Op-ed in Utah Policy: Can Democrats Win in Utah?

Democratic candidates have lost so often in recent years, it’s tough to keep track of them all. Progressives. Moderates. People with no name recognition. People with high name recognition. Mormons. Non-Mormons.

With the exception of Ben McAdams and a super-minority of Utah Representatives and Senators, Democrats are on a bit of a losing streak in this state, to say the least.

This is particularly troubling to me not just because I’m currently running for Congress (in Utah’s 4th Congressional District), and not just because I want my fellow Democrats to do well. It’s troubling because of the policy implications of all this Republican domination at every level of Utah government.

A powerful metaphor comes to mind, shared by Elder Dallin H. Oaks in an address he gave years ago, of a pianist who only plays a single key on the keyboard. Not only does the music suffer, but the listeners do too.

As Utah has proven, when we play only the Republican key, the listeners suffer. Conformity leads to extremism. Moderation is impossible without diversity.

I am troubled that our state has the 5th highest uninsured rate for children. Only four other states provide worse health care coverage for their children than we do. In fact, according to a recent report of Utah by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, the rate of uninsured children more than doubles for Hispanic children. And this was before our congressional delegation got in line behind TrumpCare’s frontal assault on Medicaid. This rushed legislation will take health care coverage from even more sick, poor, or young people in this state. TrumpCare is an urgent failure of public policy. We can’t blame the children (or even their parents, in every case). We as a society need to come together and address this problem.

I have personal experience with Medicaid. My son Marcus, who passed away when he was 3 years old, got his health care thanks to Medicaid. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without that help. I was a young mom. My husband and I both worked and had insurance, but we wouldn’t have had access to the expensive care our ailing son needed without Medicaid.

My son Doug has autism, and currently benefits from Medicaid. So when I saw that my opponent, Mia Love, voted for Trumpcare, it literally brought me to tears. I know how much Medicaid has helped my family, and I know how much it continues to help families all over this state. It literally saves lives.

I don’t know if Utah Democrats will be able to turn things around in the next few elections. But for the sake of Utah children and families, I dearly hope we do.

I will do everything in my power to make it happen.

Darlene McDonald is a Democratic candidate in Utah's 4th Congressional District.

 

 

Read the article here:  http://utahpolicy.com/index.php/features/policy-buzz/13622-can-democrats-win-in-utah