There is a lot of news in Arizona — our COVID cases are still increasing, and people are dying. One thing that is not news: Martha McSally is still telling everyone that she is going to protect preexisting conditions. Frankly, I’m worried about the young lady from Martha’s newest ad. She has a preexisting condition and is sure that Martha is going to protect her. When in the House, Martha voted every time to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which does protect preexisting conditions. Since its inception in 2010, according to Newsweek, the Republicans have voted 70 times to try and repeal Obamacare. Since she got to the Senate, Martha has continued her attack on those with health issues. She has voted for and supports the Protect Act — a Republican six-page bill designed to replace the well-thought-out 2,500-page-plus Affordable Care Act. The Protect Act lets insurers charge whatever they want to those with preexisting conditions. In October 2017, Trump failed to pay the federal government subsidy to insurers that was promised in the Affordable Care Act, and on June 26, 2020, Trump’s Department of Justice filed a brief supporting Republican attorneys general to eliminate Obamacare, which would leave millions of Americans uninsured during a pandemic.
Health insurance is complicated, it was complicated before COVID and now is far more complicated. Millions are now unemployed, thus have no employer-based health insurance. Millions have or had COVID, thus have a preexisting condition. All hospitals, especially rural, face daunting financial issues. Each hospital COVID case costs thousands of dollars. Arizona needs someone we can trust, like Mark Kelly, to lead us through this pandemic and the chaos it has brought to us and our health care system.
Does anyone think, now that we are three to four months into a global pandemic, that the for-profit system of health coverage that we have in this country will be able to continue as before?
If you are over 65 and thus on Medicare, our country's best health care coverage, please refrain from yelling “socialism," and thank God and country every night for your Medicare card and your Social Security payment. The hot debate in the early primaries (was that only a few months ago?) between "health care for all" and expanded Obamacare is now a new story. Since passage of Obamacare, Republicans have voted repeatedly to "repeal and replace," but Republicans have never offered any plan for replacement. Despite her ads, Martha McSally, in the House and in the Senate, voted countless times to repeal Obamacare with its preexisting conditions protections, and as we write this, Donald Trump’s Justice Department is in court trying to invalidate Obamacare. He has already issued several Executive Orders to unfund and undermine it.
For now, those who are without health care can visit Sun Life, a federally qualified community health center, and get help to apply for health care. One should call first for an appointment and be prepared to bring in financial documents. Call 520-381-0394 and ask for an enrollment specialist. The $600 one is now getting from the federal government does not count into your income for AHCCCS eligibility. One can first apply for Obamacare, which generally needs to be done within 60 days of layoff. For more information visit www.healthearizonaplus.gov (note the e) or healthcare.gov. Health care coverage, especially now, is an investment in yourself and your family.
Michael Flynn is in the news again (Justice for Mike Flynn, May 2). Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI on two occasions and he has stated in open court to Judge Emmet Sullivan that he was indeed guilty. There is no doubt about his guilt. The FBI has an intercept — a tape of the conversation between Flynn and Kislyak — where Flynn told the Russian ambassador to ignore the sanctions that President Obama placed on Russia for interfering in the 2016 election because the Trump administration would deal with it differently. So, yes, he told our adversary Russia to ignore sanctions from our country’s president, and yes, he lied to the FBI when they asked him about it. Recently, notes from FBI agents preparing for the Flynn questioning have been quoted but not in their entirety. There were hundreds of pages of emails and notes among the FBI personnel discussing the Flynn interview turned over to Flynn’s new lawyer, the Fox News favorite, Sidney Powell. In addition, Michael Flynn and his son Michael Flynn Jr. were both criminally liable for not registering as foreign agents for their involvement in a plot to kidnap cleric Fethullah Gulen for the Turkish government for which they were to be paid millions of dollars.
If it was up to me, I would have charged Flynn with treason. Flynn was a lieutenant general in the U.S. Army who went behind the back of the sitting U.S. president and called our adversary Russia, and plotted with a foreign government to kidnap a cleric; he should have known better. Before Donald Trump there was an America, and a Republican Party, that saw Russia as an adversary, who respected the rule of law.
Arizona voters, you are in luck! While the rest of the country wrestles with the obvious need for mail-in voting during this pandemic, Arizonans are fortunate — you already have a law on the books called Permanent Early Voting List, or PEVL. Arizona has two types of mail-in voting — the Early Ballot is a request for a mail-in ballot for one or two elections (other states call this an Absentee Ballot) and the PEVL. A voter can disenroll from PEVL with a signed application, so PEVL is the easier choice. Right now, reports are that 80% of you have already signed up for PEVL. Now is the time, when many of us have time on our hands, for the other 20% of voters to apply for PEVL!
There are two ways to apply. You can reregister to vote and check the box for PEVL at ADOT, accessed through ServiceArizona.com. (This site is closed until April 21 for an update.) This is a good choice if you have recently moved or changed your name. Alternatively, you can go online to the Pinal County Recorder’s Office at https://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/Vote/Pages/PermanentEarlyVotingRegistration.aspx for a one-page application. The application asks for your name, address, telephone number, date of birth and your signature. It’s important to take a minute to sign your name, because if it does not look like the same signature as the one on your ballot, they could throw your ballot out. If you don’t have access to the internet, call Pinal County 311 at 520-509-3555. Mail your application back to the address on the bottom of the page.
Republicans might be on to something. The only way today that Republicans and their current values can win an election is to suppress voting. It’s time for you to get that same good feeling you get when you go to the polls and vote — and sign up now to get a mail-in ballot.