This morning, Governor McAuliffe launched A Healthy Virginia, a 10-step plan to extend healthcare services to Virginians. The plan includes several emergency regulations, an executive order and creative solutions to expand health care coverage to families across the Commonwealth. While this is an important first step, the Governor’s plan still doesn’t cover every Virginian in need. Leadership in the General Assembly must meet the Governor halfway.
“Today the Governor continued to make good on his promise to do everything he can to get Virginians access to quality health care. This plan is an unprecedented step toward keeping our friends and neighbors healthy,” said Cianti Stewart-Reid, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia Executive Director. “I hope House Republicans in the General Assembly will take this opportunity to come back to the table and build upon the Governor’s effort.”
Of particular note is the effort to extend dental benefits to 45,000 pregnant women in Medicaid and FAMIS MOMS. During the 2014 budget process, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia fought to restore funding to the FAMIS MOMS program, to cover pregnant women up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. The addition of dental coverage to the FAMIS MOMS and Medicaid programs will reduce incidence of pre-term birth and emergency dental care needs.
“A year ago, many low-income pregnant women in Virginia would have been denied health care coverage altogether. Today, Governor McAuliffe has ensured comprehensive coverage for all pregnant women, which will lead to healthier lives for Virginia children from the start,” said Stewart-Reid.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia (PPAV) is leading the cause and fight for the quality health access women and their families deserve. Virginia women and families need more access to health care, not less.
- FAMIS MOMS covers low-income, uninsured pregnant women who fall between 133% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. For a single woman in Virginia, that translates to an annual income between $15,282 and $22,890.
- JLARC estimates pre-natal care generates cost savings of $1.49 to $3.38 in reduced neonatal care. Babies that don’t receive pre-natal care are 3 times more likely to be born prematurely and 4 times more likely to have a low birth weight.
- Rural women — specifically in the Alleghany, Rappahannock, and Southern Virginia market regions — have seen a huge increase in the distance they must travel to receive OB-GYN care due to closures.
- According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), in 2011, 39 percent of Virginia’s counties did not have any OB-GYNs.