Official Richard Thripp for Congress Campaign Announcement Email!

We sent this email out on May 6, 2020 to over 13,000 registered Democrats in Florida’s 6th district as an official campaign kick-off email.

Thank you all for your support, and to my volunteer Campaign Manager Emily Humphrey for designing/developing our new website, ThrippForCongress.com, and doing the technical work to make this possible! Great things are ahead.

We’ve had a great response to this announcement. Although we’ve suggested a $6 contribution for the 6th district, in the past 2 days we’ve had donations of $10, $25, $50, and $100 come in, as well as monthly recurring donations for $10 and $12, from voters all around the district. Thank you so much!

I am not taking a salary, and everyone is a volunteer in this campaign. We are not hiring consultants or paying for expensive software or platforms. We are investing when it’s needed, but we’re being very frugal about it and doing a lot with just a little. Your contribution is guaranteed to go far in the Richard Thripp for Congress campaign.

Image of Richard Thripp for Congress Campaign Announcement

Dear friend,

These are troubling times, and the Government has failed you. With an uncertain future in environmental protection, health care, and the economy, we can’t afford inaction anymore. You deserve a leader who’ll fight for our community and solve the problems we face every day.

My name is Richard Thripp, and I am asking for your support. We stand on the cusp of a generational election that’ll shape our community forever. My experience in finance and education means I have the skills to right the ship.

I cannot do this without you, however. Politics is a group activity, and it takes a community to demand the change they need. I promise you — I won’t be caught unprepared. If you can match my fervor with a donation of $6 for the 6th district, we can start this campaign off right.

Thank you,
Richard Thripp
Democratic Candidate for Congress in Florida’s Sixth District

Donate $6

Paid for by Richard Thripp for Congress

On the Abortion Dilemma: Democratic Policies Respect Motherhood and Lead to Fewer Abortions

An email from a potential voter:

I am a Democrat but I am pro-life. I believe abortion is murder. But I believe pro-life goes beyond that. Every life every age is important to support. I feel like Republicans support the unborn and Democrats support after birth. It’s a dilemma for me.

My response:

May 7, 2020

Hi there,

I would emphasize that Democratic proposals will actually reduce the number of abortions, which per capita are already lower than around the time of Roe v. Wade. If you open up funding for contraception, that’s going to cut down on abortions. If you expand Medicaid in Florida, that will cut down on abortions (although pregnancy often opens access to Medicaid, good healthcare should start before pregnancy). If you raise the minimum wage, offer maternal (and paternal!) leave, and increase funding for education, that will cut down on abortions (and improve employee retention and productivity). If you lift people out of poverty and reduce homelessness, that will cut down on abortions.

These are all policies that Republicans rail against. Democratic policies tend to value life at all ages. We certainly do not suggest sacrificing lives to save the economy as is being suggested with COVID-19—which, by the way, is a false dichotomy. You have to control the virus before you can restore the economy, and the policies we are seeing now will kill tens of thousands more Americans and wreck the economy far worse and for far longer.

I, too, used to be against abortion. However, I’ve learned that there is more to this issue that does not neatly boil down to a soundbite. It’s actually extremely presumptuous for men to have the loudest voice about abortion, and yet that’s what we see with our numerous white, wealthy, and well-connected male politicians such as Rep. Michael Waltz, who espouses “conservative values” (as a divorcee, no less) and endorsed a legal argument in Louisiana that would effectively ban abortions (except for the wealthy), despite never himself having experienced menstruation, pregnancy, nor possessing a uterus.

Furthermore, the idea that Republicans are pro-life and Democrats are pro-choice is totally bogus. It came about in the 1970s by political strategists, not organically. At the time, both parties were pro-choice and they at first thought they could get liberal Democrats to be pro-life being that they were already against the death penalty (Williams, 2011). It turned out that the Republican party was the party susceptible to being radicalized by this propaganda, much as they have now allowed themselves to be perverted, radicalized, and, ultimately, destroyed, by Donald Trump.

Worldwide, 90% of abortions occur before 13 weeks. Past neonatal research suggested fetuses cannot feel pain until 26 weeks of gestation, although newer research (Bellieni, 2019; Derbyshire & Bockmann, 2020) suggests fetuses might feel pain, at a primitive level, as early as 20–22 weeks. Morally, this is an important issue, and I can see why some would argue against abortions after this age, or for a requirement that the fetus be anesthetized. The 20-week sonogram is very important for revealing birth defects which might suggest abortion, for the mother’s life or because the baby and parents would have a difficult, costly, and painful life.

Personally, my wife and I have a 14-month old son and we were lucky enough to have 7 sonograms during her pregnancy for various reasons (initial, 12-week, gender, 20-week, two 3D ones, sizing). No one plans to have a baby in the middle of completing a PhD dissertation, but abortion is not for us. However, we also are in a strong financial position and were blessed with a completely healthy pregnancy and perfect baby boy. I do not think we should be dictating the choices of other expectant mothers, most of which do not have it so easy, particularly in Florida’s 6th congressional district which has low wages and high levels of poverty. Women in our district must travel to Orlando or Jacksonville and save up about $500 for an abortion. They may have to take off work and seek transportation and childcare from their partner, friends, or family. This is not something anyone takes lightly.

Sincerely,
Richard Thripp, Ph.D.
Progressive Democrat for U.S. Congress in Florida’s 6th District

Snippet for Twitter: How would you respond to a pro-life Democrat facing a dilemma? Look past ideology. Florida’s 6th district, particularly Volusia County, has been left behind.

Check your mailbox! Volusia County vote-by-mail forms arrived today.

🚨 Check your mailbox! 🚨

Volusia County vote-by-mail forms arrived today.

Fill this out, cut, fold, tape, and mail (postage free!) to get vote-by-mail ballots 40 days before each election through 2022!

Everyone in Florida can vote-by-mail—no excuse, witness, or stamps needed.


Volusia Vote-by-Mail Registration Form, Front


Volusia Vote-by-Mail Registration Form, Back


If you did not receive a form, click here to check/update your voter registration record online. After you update your voter record, visit VolusiaElections.org and click the “Vote by Mail Request” button to complete the form online!

Encourage Florida to Expand Medicaid by Restoring Federal Funding to 100% Along the Affordable Care Act’s Original Timeline

May 4, 2020

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA or “Obamacare,” colloquially) enabled and induced states to expand Medicaid to childless adults who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty line. These provisions of the ACA, effective January 1, 2014, provided a federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) of 100% for calendar years 2014–2016, 95% for 2017, 94% for 2018, 93% for 2019, and 90% for 2020 and thereafter, meaning that Medicaid expansion is overwhelmingly federally funded, to the benefit of the states and their residents (“the carrot”). Furthermore, states were induced to accept Medicaid expansion as a corequisite to continue receiving existing Medicaid funding (“the stick”).

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled “the stick” to be unconstitutional (National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius). Therefore, states are permitted to reject Medicaid expansion without endangering their existing federal Medicaid funding. State legislatures and governors in the southeastern United States have overwhelmingly rejected Medicaid expansion, despite tremendous financial and public health costs.

In Florida, which as of May 4, 2020 continues to opt out, Medicaid expansion would provide healthcare to an additional 800,000 low-income residents, and a 2014 analysis estimated that the 10-year costs (2013–2022) to the state would have been $5.36 billion in order to receive $66.1 billion of federal Medicaid funds and $22.6 billion of additional hospital reimbursements, for a total of $88.7 billion of federal funds—a net gain of $83.3 billion to the state, its residents, and its healthcare providers. To put this in perspective, the entire proposed state budget for the 2020–2021 fiscal year is only $91.4 billion.

Florida’s refusal to expand Medicaid bankrupts, impoverishes, sickens, disenfranchises, and kills Floridians, and is effectively a bailout of blue, Democratic states that accepted the expansion of Medicaid. The ACA obligates the federal government to provide funding to states that accept the expansion. Florida’s reticence on this matter has, over the past 6 years, 4 months, and 4 days, cost the state, its residents, and its healthcare providers over $56 billion in federal funds that would otherwise have been disbursed.

As a progressive Democratic congressional candidate for Florida’s 6th district, I believe our eventual goal as a nation should be universal healthcare for all Americans, devoid of insurance schemes, premiums, and deductibles. A step along this path is nationwide Medicaid expansion as provided for in the ACA—a humanitarian triumph that sadly, has still not been realized.

Florida’s former governor and now U.S. Senator, Rick Scott, complains that Medicaid expansion would provide unnecessary welfare payments to able-bodied adults who shirk work out of greed and laziness. This rhetoric is damaging and false. Health insurance is extremely expensive, and many employers do not provide health insurance to the bulk of their employees nor to their independent contractors. Moreover, qualifying for a federal subsidy of health insurance premiums on the HealthCare.gov exchange requires earning no less than 100% of the federal poverty line, only to receive policies with high deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance costs, and out-of-pocket annual maximums that may be as high as $16,300. In contrast, Medicaid, where accepted, pays 100% of costs, which is vastly superior for Floridians, as well as for many healthcare providers who are happy to accept lower reimbursement rates in exchange for guaranteed payments and a reliable customer base.

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in widespread illnesses, unemployment, and lost healthcare coverage. Now, it is clearer than ever that Florida’s refusal to expand Medicaid is senseless cruelty. At the same time, Florida and other southeastern states have collectively missed out on hundreds of billions of dollars of federal funding that the rest of the country has enjoyed since 2014.

One recurring proposal in congress is to amend subsection (y)(1) of Section 1905 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396d) to grant an FMAP of 100%, rather than 90%, to states that agree to expand Medicaid now. The original wording provided 100% for calendar years 2014–2016, 95% for 2017, 94% for 2018, 93% for 2019, and 90% for 2020. The proposal is to simply shift this timeline forward, so that if Florida were to expand Medicaid now, they would receive 100% for 3 years, 95% for 1 year, and so forth until reaching a 90% FMAP. Although Florida and other southeastern states would not be able to re-coup the federal funds they missed out on over the past 6 years, 4 months, and 4 days, they would at least receive as sweet an offer (“the carrot”) as was initially available beginning on January 1, 2014.

Unfortunately, these congressional bills keep failing to gain widespread traction even among Democrats. In the 116th Congress, Senator Warner introduced the States Achieve Medicaid Expansion Act of 2019 (S.585) on February 27, 2019, which garnered only 8 cosponsors. In the House of Representatives, Rep. Veasey introduced the Incentivizing Medicaid Expansion Act of 2019 (H.R.584) on January 16, 2020, which picked up 36 cosponsors. Two weeks later, instead of cosponsoring H.R.584, Rep. Lewis introduced the nearly identical Medicaid Expansion Parity Act of 2019 (H.R.909), which gained only 2 cosponsors. These bills have repeatedly been introduced to little fanfare since the 114th Congress and are all exceedingly short, seeking only to offer the original FMAP cost-sharing timeline to southeastern states who are already significantly disadvantaged, having squandered their claims to hundreds of billions of dollars of pledged federal funds.

I believe passing such an act would incentivize states like Florida to expand Medicaid, to the benefit of over 800,000 Floridians and thousands of healthcare providers. The public has woken up and increasingly is rejecting anti-Medicaid rhetoric from Senator Rick Scott, Governor Ron DeSantis, and others. When you elect Richard Thripp as your congressman for Florida’s 6th district on November 3, 2020, I will immediately begin working to convince my colleagues of the necessity of rejiggering the FMAP timeline so that disadvantaged Floridians and other southerners can begin receiving the healthcare that residents of Democratic-led states have enjoyed since 2014. Six years, 4 months, and 4 days is enough. We cannot tolerate being forgotten and left behind any longer. Floridians deserve so much better!

Richard Thripp, Ph.D.
Progressive Democrat for U.S. Congress, Florida’s 6th District

My campaign is completely grassroots and volunteer-based.
Please click here to donate if you can afford to.

Richard Thripp for Congress: A 26-Minute Unscripted Video on My Candidacy and Platform

In this unscripted 26-minute video divided into 2 parts, recorded April 23, 2020, I talk about myself and my candidacy as a progressive Democrat for Florida’s 6th Congressional district; why I am running; my aspirational platform including universal healthcare for all, a universal basic income, and a Green New Deal, and how it will help the Daytona Beach area as well as all Americans; and how the present system has failed the vast majority of us.

Part 1:


Part 2:


Please follow me on Twitter and donate if you can!

In choosing tags on YouTube to increase viewership, I specified the following:

thripp, congress, progressive, democrat, universal basic income, green new deal, universal healthcare, medicare for all, berniecrat, bernie, congressional, florida, daytona beach, palm coast, volusia, flagler, deltona, deland, port orange, ormond beach, new smyrna beach, edgewater, orange city, eustis, flagler beach, bunnell, debary, democratic party, michael waltz, blue wave, young, bernie sanders, joe biden, nancy soderberg, equality, wealth stratification, climate crisis, economy, fairness

Check out our new campaign website, ThrippForCongress.com! I have set the Thripp.com home page (only) to redirect there. Click here to view my older posts.