By Sarah Stott
On September 12, the Alexandria City Council unanimously passed a resolution entitled, “Regarding Affordable and Attainable Health Care in the City of Alexandria: A resolution to protect and expand access to quality, affordable health care services for all Alexandrians.”
After 10 WHEREAS clauses with important background information, the resolution made the following points:
- The City supports initiatives to improve the Affordable Care Act and to expand Medicaid in VA.
- The City opposes repeal of ACA, cuts to Medicaid or Medicare and cuts to the Prevention & Public Health Fund.
- The City requests that the Public Health Advisory Commission keep the City Council informed of changes in State and Federal programs.
This resolution is important at a time when members of Congress are attempting to weaken the Country’s current healthcare system. The Graham-Cassidy bill released last week is a perfect example.
The resolution assures Alexandria residents that the Mayor and City Council consider access to healthcare a high priority. The resolution also has implications outside of Alexandria. Although Alexandria’s members of Congress and members of the General Assembly support the ACA (with improvements) and Medicaid expansion in Virginia, elected officials from other parts of the Commonwealth have voted otherwise. The Healthcare for all Virginians Coalition has agreed to distribute the Alexandria resolution around the Commonwealth to encourage other jurisdictions to adopt similar resolutions.
This resolution was initiated by the Grassroots Alexandria healthcare team. They drafted an initial version in April and for five months discussed it with many Alexandria residents and local health organizations including the City’s Public Health Advisory Commission. The Commission discussed the resolution at four monthly meetings and voted unanimously at their August 17th meeting to submit the resolution to the City Council for adoption. During the summer G.A. Healthcare team members provided information about the resolution to the Mayor and Council members. When it came to the Sept 12 City Council meeting, Vice-Mayor Justin Wilson added one new Whereas Clause, there was no discussion and the measure passed unanimously. Many thanks to our Mayor and City Council members for doing the right thing.