Virginia Organizing thanks Anthem CEO for health care rebate

More than 100 community leaders from across the state joined the grassroots non-profit Virginia Organizing in delivering balloons, flowers and a thank you letter to Anthem CEO C. Burke King’s home on Saturday.

Virginia Organizing planned the event as a part of the organization’s 2012 Grassroots Gathering, an educational meeting for Virginia Organizing leaders.

At 10:15 a.m., the community leaders loaded the buses from the Grassroots Gathering at the University of Richmond and went to King’s Chesterfield County home with a dual message: thanks for the rebate check and please support Medicaid expansion in Virginia.

In compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Anthem issued an MLR rebate check to Virginia Organizing as a result of charging excessive premiums last year. Under the ACA, insurance companies must use at least 80 percent of premium dollars on actual medical expenses or provide a rebate or credit to consumers.

Several Virginia Organizing health care committee members knocked on King’s door to present balloons, flowers and a letter while Virginia Organizing members stood in solidarity along the street in front of his house. Nobody answered the door. Other Virginia Organizing leaders went to surrounding homes to encourage neighbors to thank Mr. King and call the Governor to ask for Medicaid expansion.

“The purpose of this event was for Mr. King to contact the Governor and get him to agree to support the Affordable Care Act, which is the law, and expand Medicaid,” said Virginia Organizing leader Ophelia Griggs of Martinsville.

Virginia Organizing had scheduled a meeting with Anthem executives for August 9, but were contacted by the health insurer earlier in the week to cancel the meeting. Virginia Organizing Chairperson Sandra Cook explained the purpose of the meeting was to discuss Medicaid expansion and Anthem’s role in that expansion in Virginia.

“It just doesn’t make any sense why they would cancel our scheduled meeting. We only wanted to talk with them, thank them for the work they have already done, and share our perspective on what Medicaid expansion would mean to hundreds of thousands of Virginians,” Cook said.

Since Anthem refused a meeting at their office, Virginia Organizing decided to take the meeting to Mr. King directly and presented him with a letter explaining the organization’s position on Medicaid expansion and why it is good for Virginians. While still in front of King’s home, Virginia Organizing members called the Governor’s office to ask Governor Bob McDonnell to support the Medicaid expansion.

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