By Dr. Lyah Holmes
Nurse practitioner and public health advocate in Milwaukee
This week, Wisconsin surpassed 150,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,500 lives lost to the virus–– shocking and sobering numbers. As Wisconsin activates a field hospital to manage the surge of cases and struggles to restock personal protective equipment, Donald Trump continues to downplay and deny the seriousness and threat of this virus.
Nine months into this pandemic, Trump still doesn’t have a plan to get the virus under control and to help our communities open safely and sustainably – he’s shown that he’s either unable or unwilling to meet this moment. When President Trump was told one thousand Americans were dying every day from COVID-19, he shrugged it off and said, “It is what it is.” We deserve better than this.
As families in Milwaukee fight to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, Trump is prioritizing a Supreme Court nomination over public health and economic relief efforts. If Trump is successful in the nomination, there stand to be devastating consequences for Wisconsin families. The Trump Administration is currently in front of the Supreme Court trying to strike down the Affordable Care Act and in turn strip more than 150,000 Wisconsinites of their health care coverage and millions more with pre-existing conditions of their protections – in the middle of a pandemic.
Our city is navigating multiple crises – this deadly virus, an economic recession that isn’t going away quickly and the long and painful history of systemic racism. Trump’s failure to take action and meet the needs of Wisconsin families is costing lives –– and Black and brown communities are paying the highest cost.
It didn’t have to be this bad.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris recognize the urgency of this moment, and they have a plan to expand health care access and to prioritize health equity for communities of color.
Biden and Harris know that quality health care must be a right for all, not a privilege for just the wealthiest few.
As vice president, Biden worked side by side with President Barack Obama to make the Affordable Care Act a reality. In Wisconsin, that meant that 2.4 million Wisconsinites no longer had to worry that an insurance company would deny coverage or charge higher premiums just because they had a pre-existing condition. We can’t afford to go back.
As president, Biden has a plan to build on the Affordable Care Act by offering a new public option like Medicare – the fastest path to universal coverage. He will lower Medicare eligibility to 60 to give people more health care options and will lower prescription costs by standing up to the prescription drug lobby.
A Biden-Harris Administration will double the federal investment in community health centers, expanding access to high-quality health care for the populations that need it most and take action to address the unacceptably high maternal mortality rate disproportionately impacting people of color.
This election, we can vote for a ticket that will put people over politics when it comes to health care. Biden and Harris are ready to help us build back better, and this time to bring everybody along.
With so much at stake, head to iwillvote.com/WI and make your plan to vote. Let’s vote for change, Milwaukee.