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On the Issues: Healthcare

Qasim Rashid believes healthcare is a human right.

  • America is the world’s wealthiest nation;  we must guarantee healthcare to all our citizens. Yet, by some estimates, over 60% of Americans who declare bankruptcy do so due to suffocating medical bills.
  • Currently 1.2 million working Virginians struggle to cope without paid sick leave, forced to choose between staying home without pay, or going to work sick. Or, parents must choose to stay home with a sick child foregoing their pay, or alternatively, sending a sick child to school possibly infecting their teachers and classmates. The lack of a guaranteed sick leave policy harms our children, our workers, and exposes everyone to the risk of spreading disease—this must change with the implementation of policies, as a rule of law, guaranteeing paid sick leave for all Virginians.
  • As our families age, Virginia must support our caregivers and ensure our elderly citizens have the support they need to age with dignity.
  • Qasim believes in working towards a single-payer healthcare system, and supports Medicare for All because healthcare is a human right. It is unacceptable that in the world’s wealthiest nation we spend more per capita on healthcare than any developed nation, yet have substandard healthcare as evidenced by the highest maternal mortality rate and lowest life expectancy among developed nations. Medicare for All would:
    • Return choice to the Americans people by allowing us to choose our doctors anywhere in the country
    • Make sure everyone is covered with high quality and affordable care
    • Decrease the cost of prescription medications
    • Provide comprehensive medical, vision, dental, reproductive, and mental healthcare for all, even with a preexisting condition

 

Opioids

Qasim Rashid believes that the War on Drugs has failed. America requires a better approach. One that treats addiction as a disease and treats the root causes behind drug abuse. Life expectancy in the United States continues to drop, and a big factor behind that is drug overdoses and the opioid epidemic. Across the nation and here in the First District, it is imperative that we move swiftly to address this crisis that is taking so many lives. 

  • In 2017, 70,000 people died from a drug overdose, the highest year on record — and the majority of those deaths were due to opioids.
  • While local communities must be empowered to take necessary action, the federal government must lead the way with compassion and not criminalization.
  • In 2018, nearly 1200 Virginians died from drug overdoses involving opioids. This actually represents progress, a decrease of roughly 5%, but we cannot be content with such slow and incremental progress. We must act decisively.
  • Health experts are clear that a key component to combating opioid addiction is healthcare access. Medicaid expansion in Virginia has afforded healthcare access to over 20,000 Virginians suffering from addiction.

As Congressman, Qasim will support the CARE Act from Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Elijah Cummings — a comprehensive plan to end the opioid crisis by providing the resources needed to begin treating this epidemic like the public health crisis that it is. The CARE Act will provide resources directly to first responders, public health departments, and communities on the front lines of this crisis. This will ensure that they have the resources to provide prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those who need it most.

 

People with Disabilities 

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the objective of ending “the unjustified segregation and exclusion of persons with disabilities from the mainstream of American life.” Three decades later, the goal set forth by this landmark civil rights legislation remains unfinished.

  • Across the country, one in five Americans and one in six voters has some degree of disability. Also, according to the CDC 23.6% of Virginian adults have some degree of disability.
  • Today’s Republican Party, exemplified by President Trump’s infamous mocking of a disabled reporter, has written off people with disabilities. According to FiveThirtyEight, Rob Wittman has voted with Trump 92.8% of the time.

Qasim knows that the people of Virginia’s 1st District need better. He supports fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), eliminating the sub-minimum wage, and ensuring that the disability community is treated with dignity under the law.

 

Women’s Health

Qasim believes that reproductive health decisions should be between a woman and their doctor—and not include a politician in Washington. Qasim supports access to safe and legal abortion, to birth control and emergency contraception, to reproductive health services and education.

It is unacceptable that in the world’s wealthiest nation we spend more per capita on healthcare than any developed nation, yet have substandard healthcare as evidenced by the highest maternal and infant mortality rates and lowest life expectancy among developed nations. Too many Black women are dying in pregnancy and childbirth. Black women in the United States are more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth than women in any other race group. Black women are also three to four times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death than white women. Black women’s heightened risk of pregnancy-related death spans income and education levels. We need to address this urgent crisis with federal action.