Jestin Samson: Covid in CD 46 shows the need for Medicare For All.




By March 17, 2020, each state in the US had seen at least one case of Covid-19. Some states had been hit harder than others, like the state of California which eventually became the epicenter for the country, with a disproportionate impact on frontline workers. Stories of the impact of the pandemic on frontline workers are common, and dominated headlines every other day. Be it teachers, nurses, Uber/Lyft workers, grocery store workers, janitors, or other essential workers, they did not receive hazard or “hero” pay.

Santa Ana’s Ramos family – 6 of 7 were infected, 1 died; pic OC Register

These headlines are nothing new to northern Orange County, where the majority of the frontline workers live and work. And neither are the impacts of Covid, including its deaths. This income inequality and disregard of essential workers is why cities like Santa Ana and Anaheim became the major epicenters in the county and the state. Unfortunately this only becomes clearer when you realize how many folks in this area are uninsured or underinsured, and we see how those that deserve hero pay are instead getting stuck with the bill of this pandemic.

Those that make our society run are being undervalued and discarded by our politicians droning on about how we cannot afford bills like Medicare For All, $2000 recurring checks, or an increased minimum wage while they vote to increase our grotesquely oversized military budget with full “bipartisan comity.” We are often told that the national debt is a greater worry than our basic needs, while our federal and state government subsidizes the expensive prison-industrial-complex on the taxpayers’ dime. We can’t get Medicare For All, rental assistance, or expanded Section 8 housing, but we can increase every city’s police budget every single year.

Santa Anas Rios family were all infected; pic OC Register

The very least that our government can do for us is ensure that we have Medicare For All during a public health crisis. On the anniversary of each state reporting a Covid case, the 2021 version of the Medicare For All bill was introduced, and every single Democrat in Orange County cosponsored it. Or wait, I misspoke: every single democrat should have cosponsored the current Medicare For All bill during the worst public health crisis of our lifetimes.

Unfortunately, the current hold-out “Democratic” congressperson represents the cities of Santa Ana and Anaheim here in the 46th Congressional District – Representative Lou Correa. And he doesn’t have the excuse of representing a Republican-leaning or even swing district. Lou “represents” the most reliably blue seat in the entire county, as well as the one that represents the district hardest hit by the pandemic.

Central-county testing line; pic OC Register

It’s not too late for Representative Correa to change his tune, co-sponsor this bill, and support his constituents. He can still join the Democratic-leaning district cosponsors like Alan Lowenthal or Linda Sanchez, and he can back up the courage Katie Porter and Mike Levin, who represent Republican-leaning districts. OR… he can just continue to side with this County’s Republican Congressmembers Young Kim and Michelle Steel who ousted Democrats last November – notably, two Democrats who didn’t support Medicare For All in 2019.  All we ask in District 46 is that our representative Lou Correa side with Democrats in cosponsoring the health policy, for the benefit of this working class district that also voted overwhelmingly for Bernie Sanders for President.

And if Lou Correa won’t vote for our health, we will find a Democrat that will.

Jestin Samson was a 2018 candidate for California State Senate (District 34) and 2016 Democratic National Convention delegate for Bernie Sanders, and will be running against Congressman Lou Correa in 2022 as a progressive Democrat. Motivated by his Mom’s struggles with our healthcare system, he has been a Medicare for All and housing activist for the past 4 years.

Jestin Samson, Lou Correa.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.