Bernie Sanders Should Meet Angie Settle

In this country, we have a debate over whether healthcare is a right or a privilege.   My guest this week on the AHP proved that health is a right, at least it is on the East End of Charleston and the surrounding areas she and her team serve. WV Health Right was founded and continues to operate on the belief that every person is entitled to quality healthcare, even if they don’t have private insurance.  In fact, 28,000 West Virginians get quality medical care, dental care, pharmaceuticals, vision care, behavioral health services, and health education because of a small clinic on Washington Street.  It is their mission.  

Their four assumptions:

  1. Each person has inherent uniqueness, value, and worth and is therefore worthy of respect of others
  2. Basic healthcare is a fundamental right
  3. With that, there are corresponding responsibilities, including to participate in their care
  4. Members of a society have the responsibility to care for the most weak and vulnerable  

These assumptions sum up the philosophy.  In my time working with WV Health Right CEO, Angie Settle, I believe the staff lives the mission.  I learned a lot from interviewing Angie.  I also garnered a great deal of respect for the paid staff who work for less than they’d be paid at comparable facilities and the army of volunteer physicians and dentists who give freely of their time to treat patients for which they don’t receive anything other than a thank you.  

The debate about healthcare as a right has been going on for decades.  Presidents going back to FDR & Harry Truman worked to have reform in the system including everything from a single payer to our current implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  With election season just getting its stride for the 2020 contests, we hear a lot of Democratic Presidential candidates talking about “Medicare for All” and Republicans asking how we’re going to pay for it.  Maybe Senator Sanders, Senator Warren, and their Republican counterparts should spend a few hours with Angie Settle and crew. They provide healthcare for all and they pay for it.

Published by Danny Scalise

Danny Franklin Scalise, II is the Executive Director and Chief Lobbyist of the West Virginia State Medical Association and its subsidiary organizations as well as a professor of Health Policy at the West Virginia University School of Public Health. He is considered one of the leading health policy experts in West Virginia and is a passionate advocate for public health. Scalise has been a public policy adviser to two Governors. He is well known across West Virginia as a problem solver and a great student of West Virginia politics & the legislative process. As part of the Manchin administration, Danny was the Recovery Czar in West Virginia managing $1.8 billion in grants and entitlement funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
 Danny earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from West Virginia University Institute of Technology in 2002, his Master of Business Administration from West Virginia University in 2005, and his Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy in 2018. In 2016 he became Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. He has been published on and regularly speaks on issues of public health, health policy, and local health department governance & organizational structure. Danny sits on the Board of Directors for the Thomas Health System in South Charleston, WV and in 2019 Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin appointed him to serve on the Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health which governs the largest and first PHAB Accredited Health Department in West Virginia. 
 Danny has been recognized by Opportunity Nation in 2013 as part of their national Opportunity Leaders & Scholars program and was awarded the “Health Administration Rising Star” by the American Public Health Association in 2016. He is a 2012 Leadership West Virginia graduate, was on the State Journal’s 2016 Generation Next: 40 under 40 list, was named a 2019 Young Gun by West Virginia Executive Magazine, and was given the 2019 Advocacy Award by the West Virginia Immunization Network for his work to protect West Virginia’s childhood immunization laws. Since joining in 2007, Danny has been an active participant in Mensa.

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