Letter to the Editor the Richmond Times Dispatch Refused to Publish

City Pandemic Spending

In reviewing the RTD February 10 articleHow Richmond will spend $155 million in pandemic relief aid” I find it remarkable that virtually none of the funds were spent preparing the city for what will doubtlessly be the next pandemic.  

Where is the funding to improve the delivery of healthcare in the city?  Funding to attract more Primary Care Physicians, Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners to establish practices in the city.  The creation of new, as well as improving existing, clinics for those with limited or no medical financial resources. 

Most of us have experienced the disappointment of how increasing demands on healthcare professionals have led to longer waits for services.  Clearly the trend is disturbingly more akin to the extraordinarily long waits experienced every day in countries with nationalized, single payer healthcare systems.  Yet our own state legislature just this session refused to act to increase the independent availability of Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners by reducing the extraordinary amount of time these highly trained professionals must remain under the total supervision of a licensed physician.  Might the AMA lobby be responsible for the failure of this legislation to reduce future physician competition?

And why were no funds allocated to helping school children recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic on learning?  Clearly these children could use some rescuing using the resources provisioned by the “American Rescue Plan Act” as the source of this funding.

Finally, this funding plan (i.e., $2 million in city beautification efforts, $9 million to purchase and develop the James River Branch Trail as well as other proposed irrational spending where any reasonable person might struggle with how this relates to the pandemic) is deficit spending; vaper funds with no taxing source that will eventually fall on future generations to pay.

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