“In communities from St. Charles in Lee County to Suffolk to Staunton and points in between, there is more and more support for the Virginia General Assembly to make sure that we close the insurance gap and expand Medicaid so that 400,000 Virginians can have health insurance,” said Sandra A. Cook, Chairperson of Virginia Organizing.
“Today, in all parts of the state, we heard the voices of those who are directly affected by the decisions that the legislature will be making regarding health insurance coverage over the next month,” said Cook. “And their message was loud and clear: ‘No more delays!’”
“It is somehow deeply saddening for me, as a pastor and person of faith, to see the issue of providing care to our poorest fellow Virginians politicized and demagogued by either party for gain,” said Dave Rochford, Superintendent of the Staunton District of the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. “Many of us would immediately help an impoverished family with a ride to the Emergency Room, with a heart prescription or the preventive care needed by a diabetic child. But we are choosing not to do this on a mass scale.”
Dave Baldwin, Executive Director of the Center For High Blood Pressure in Richmond, told the story of a patient named Vivian: “Vivian needed our care. She cared for her children and for her children’s children. She had a part-time job with no health insurance. We did everything we could but she needed more than we could provide. She did not have the resources and before she could find the resources she had a stroke, her kidneys stopped and she passed. When you talk about the Medicaid gap, remember Vivian.”
“The Affordable Care Act provides 100 percent federal funding to support Medicaid expansion through 2016,” Cook said. “After that, the federal contribution is gradually reduced to no less than 90 percent of the cost. This very significant federal funding supports 30,000 new jobs in Virginia. And we simply cannot afford to lose $5 million each and every day we do not expand health insurance coverage for some of our most economically stressed neighbors.”