by Ashleigh Crocker
It’s me again, reporting with an update that Senator Siobhan Dunnavant is still the worst, in case you were wondering. I wrote a few years ago about her bizarre views on birth control and abortion, despite being an actual OB-GYN. I’ve also talked before about how she even voted for junk health insurance plans and against affordable health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions. Some doctor she is. Don’t be fooled by her seemingly “moderate” votes last session. She’s still trash, keep reading to see how.
But it’s been a minute since I’ve talked about her, so I thought I would give you a quick update on what she’s been up to in the State Senate in the last few years. The SparkNotes version is that she almost always votes to put insurance companies and other wildly profitable corporations ahead of handworking people in our community. Read below for more details.
Senator Dunnavant Was Responsible for Ending Mask Mandates in Schools
I’ve blocked most of it out to be honest, but wearing masks in schools during the peak of COVID-19 helped to protect kids, their parents, their teachers, and communities at large from spreading the virus. There’s even scientific evidence to prove it. But what did Dr. Dunnavant do as a State Senator? She sponsored a bill to lift the mask requirements in school, making schools a less safe place for everyone, but especially people who have immune-compromised folks and kids in schools living in the same place.
We’re still in a pandemic (don’t forget to get your booster when they come out in the fall!) and wearing masks, especially in crowded places where people are breathing the same air for long periods of time, like in classrooms, can drastically reduce the spread. As someone who birthed a whole baby while wearing a mask, it’s hard for me to understand why this is so difficult for people to understand. Masks prevent you and others from getting sick. Wear them! And definitely don’t lift mask mandates prematurely, like Senator Dunnavant did.
Senator Dunnavant Voted Against Bills to Make Prescription Drugs Cheaper and Allow People Access to Health Insurance
Depsite her misleading campaign ads saying otherwise, Senator Dunnavant has spent her time in the State Senate voting against bills that would make prescription drugs cheaper for people who need them. It seems like a doctor would be sympathetic towards patients who can’t afford their medication and maybe even work to do something about that as a State Senator. But not Dr. Dunnavant!
One example of this is just this past legislative session when she voted against SB957, which would have created a prescription drug affordability board. The board would have had the authority to set caps on how much certain medications could cost on state-sponsored insurance plans. The bill passed the Democratically controlled State Senate, and even a few Republicans supported it. But not Senator Dunnavant. In the end, Republicans in the House of Delegates refused to even give it a hearing and the bill didn’t pass. But wouldn’t it be nice if we had a way to regulate the costs of prescriptions people desperately need?
Additionally, Senator Dunnavant voted against Medicaid expansion, which allowed nearly 750,000 people to get health insurance they could afford. I don’t know about you, but I certainly would not want to see a doctor who doesn’t care about how much my prescriptions cost or want me to get access to health insurance at all.
Dunnavant? How about Dun-NO-vant?
I could go on and on forever about all of the bad votes Senator Dunnavant has taken in her years in the State Senate. But these two things alone are enough for me to vote against her, and the great news is that we’ll have the chance to do just that this fall in the elections for State Senate and Hosue of Delegates. Her opponent, Schuyler VanValkenburg is a teacher who has stood up for kids, parents, and our communities as a member of the House of Delegates. Why would I vote for a doctor who doesn’t even want to stand up for her patients when I could vote for him instead?
So join me in voting either early in-person 45 days before election day, via absentee ballot, or in person on Election Day on Tuesday, November 7, 2023. Get all the information you need to make a plan to vote here. It’s gonna be a great day when we kick Senator Dunnavant out of office!