Will Goodlatte leave 30,000 of his constituents in the lurch?

Congressman Goodlatte has been among the Republicans voting repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), which in 2016 enabled more than 30,000 residents of the Sixth District to purchase health insurance. Enrollment for 2017 promises to be even larger. While there are some problems with the ACA that could easily be fixed if Goodlatte and other Republicans would cooperate, the law has reduced the number of uninsured Americans by 21.3 million– cutting the number of uninsured in half.

But with a Republican President-elect who supports repeal and a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, the ACA and the millions of Americans insured through the law are under serious threat.

Goodlatte has expressed support for the House Republicans’ supposed alternative to the ACA. But as Huffington Post reported:

The plan, which isn’t legislation and is more like a mission statement, lacks the level of detail that would enable a full analysis, but one thing is clear: If put in place, it would almost surely mean fewer people with health insurance, fewer people getting financial assistance for their premiums or out-of-pocket costs, and fewer consumer protections than the ACA provides.

Is Goodlatte prepared to let that happen?

Goodlatte backs Trump budget appointee who wants to “end Medicare as we know it”

Congressman Bob Goodlatte has issued a statement applauding President-elect Trump’s appointment of Congressman Mick Mulvaney as director of the Office of Management and the Budget.

There is reason to believe that despite Trump’s promise to protect Medicare and Social Security, Mulvaney has other ideas.

“We have to end Medicare as we know it,” Mulvaney said in 2011.

A Tea Party budget hawk who led the opposition to many of the funding compromises during the Obama era, Mulvaney vocally championed proposals by then-Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) and others to privatize Medicare or impose other major changes to the program. He relentlessly argued that cutting retirement programs like Medicare was the only way to “balance the budget,” the Tea Party call to arms. He hasn’t been shy about calling for a drastic refashioning of Medicare.

“Medicare as it exists today is finished,” Mulvaney said at a townhall in 2011. As OMB director, Mulvaney would have major sway within a Trump administration, and would play a key role in determining the administration’s position on mandatory programs like Medicare and Social Security, which Mulvaney once called a “Ponzi scheme.” The post requires confirmation by the Senate.

Does Goodlatte agree? It would be good to know.

Democrats ask Goodlatte to hold hearings on Trump’s conflicts of interest

Sixteen Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have written to chairman Bob Goodlatte asking him to schedule hearings on the potential conflicts between Donald Trump’s business interests and his future position as president of the United States.

(Read the letter here.)

If (as is likely) he refuses to hold hearings, and considering how eager he has been to investigate Hillary Clinton’s alleged misdeeds, it would be good to get his reasons on the record.

Update: I phoned Congressman Goodlatte’s office on December 21 to ask if he had responded to the letter from the committee Democrats and if he intended to hold hearings on the matter. The aide I spoke to said he would be “happy to pass your concerns on to the Congressman” and that someone would get back to me. So we’ll see.