Letter: Not the time to cut healthcare

March 20, 2023

Originally published in The Henrico Citizen

Dear Editor:

My life’s work is making sure that Virginians can access the mental and physical health care they need. With the medical needs of so many in our community on the rise, it is not the time to cut vital healthcare programs.

As our representatives in D.C. argue over budgets, programs, and cuts, it is important that they pay attention to some of our most successful programs. For example, Medicare Advantage serves over 530,000 Virginia seniors and those with disabilities. Cuts will only increase the vulnerability of our most at risk neighbors.

I am in our community every day and I know when programs and policies are or are not working for our citizens. Medicare Advantage goes above and beyond traditional Medicare when providing services as it relates to mental and behavioral health. Older Americans are at heightened risk for health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, and it is vital their health care coverage take needs like substance abuse and mental health treatment, therapy, and related prescriptions into account.

I strongly encourage our lawmakers to protect this program from cuts that would have a negative impact on access to care. Our elected officials and the Biden Administration should advocate for and show their commitment to senior health in Virginia.