The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Repeal Is Not an Option

Originally written as an op-ed during my campaign…

Of Virginia’s congressional districts, the 3rd is more disproportionately affected by our nation’s health care problems than most others.  The numbers which show this effect are staggering.  19%-nearly one in every five-African Americans are without health care coverage for various reasons.  Because our salaries, on average, tend to be lower than others, we spend almost 17% of our disposable income on health care costs. 48% of blacks suffer from chronic illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure (which I live with myself) and diabetes-a number that will surely increase as these illnesses are found at younger ages. While the onset of these diseases can largely be attributed to ancestry and personal choices, they are made worse by a lack of access to quality health care.

For many of the African Americans that make up 56% of the district, these numbers reflect the reality with which they live. They also reflect the environment that the Republican Party will campaign for Congress in this fall.

The new healthcare bill, by making access to health care easier and stopping insurers from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, will help improve the quality of life for many residents in the 3rd District. Those are two of the good things in the bill, and they should be embraced. The problems with it-the exorbitant cost that’s pushed to future generations, and a mandate for insurance that may well be found unconstitutional-are well known, and should be highlighted.  For me, having the individual mandate struck down would remove one of the things in the bill that I am most opposed to.

However, to advocate repeal of the bill during this year’s campaigns, in the environment described above, is political suicide (and may well prove an campaign promise that’s impossible to fulfill). Not only does it seek to throw out things that are beneficial to constituents in our community-as well as the few Republican ideas that were included-a repeal platform will heighten a toxicity that prevents the furtherance of the conservative agenda. Our messages of individual freedom and personal responsibility will be lost to the noise machine that already paints Republicans and conservatives as insensitive to the needs of blacks and other minorities- a perception that, from our lack of engagement in these communities, we have done little to counter.

It falls on urban conservatives-those of us who view the conservative message through the lens of the inner cities which we live in-to not only educate our communities on the negatives found in this bill, but to work within the few positives it has to create a renewal of economic prosperity in not just this district, but in urban communities across Virginia and nationwide. If people do end up spending less on healthcare for a short time, we should seek to show them the benefits of investment and entrepreneurship, instead of spending their extra money on items they neither need nor could afford under different circumstances.

Our ideas and solutions must work towards the long term goal of uplifting our communities, and not tearing them down for what we incorrectly perceive as short-term political gain.

HB2DF, Coby


Written by Coby Dillard

April 5, 2010 at 12:00 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Coby,
    I have an adult daughter who has no health insurance coverage, and an adult son who had to sue to get coverage, and won. I don’t like that my daughter has no insurance and that my son had to sue to get coverage, but I have very grave reservations about the Federal Government running medical care for the entire United States. I am certain you are aware of the facts surrounding the instability of Medicare, Medicaid, social security, the United States Postal Service, and Amtrak – all run by the Federal Government and all billions of dollars in the red. These systems that the Federal Government is running are all going bankrupt, and they don’t begin to encompass the far-reaching effects of this health care bill. The four year wait for these supposed benefits to kick in, all while the government is collecting taxes from the American taxpayer, is ludicrous. Who is going to watch over those monies to secure them for the time when the bill’s provisions will actually be put into use? My guess is that no one will be watching and that the money collected will be used to keep those previously mentioned programs floating.
    While this bill might sound good to those without health insurance, I believe in the end, it will cause financial ruin to our Republic. There just is no way to sustain this type of system. Other nations that have tried it have failed. The only difference between us and the other countries is that we are bigger, and I know you are familiar with the saying: “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” We, as a nation, are in for a very hard fall. This bill will not fulfill the promises the politicians made to us.

    Linda Gunn

    April 5, 2010 at 9:35 pm

  2. I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said here…these are the exact things we should be focusing our efforts and attention on. I just don’t want to see these messages shouted down because Republicans have designs on repealing the entire bill, because then they’ll get lost.

    Coby Dillard

    April 6, 2010 at 6:55 am

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