Virginians spoke out today about Medicaid expansion

virginia-organizing-new2Two days before the start of the special legislative session on Medicaid expansion, Virginia Organizing held a media conference for directly affected people to share their stories of why expansion is important for Virginians.

Wise County resident Dorothy Taulbee believes Medicaid expansion is essential for the residents of Southwest Virginia. Taulbee’s statement was read at the media conference.

“I would have died if not for Remote Area Medical (RAM) catching the cancer I had in 2008. I’m thankful for RAM, but no one should have to rely on luck and the kindness of strangers for basic medical care. That’s why we need Medicaid expansion,” said Taulbee.

Edna Gulley of Dickenson County also relies on RAM and the Central Appalachia Health Wagon for medical care. Gulley is glad the services are available, but wants people to have access to care year around before minor medical issues become major health problems.

“This is not about politics, this is about people’s lives,” said Gulley.

Virginia Organizing wants to make sure that our politicians in Richmond are thinking about folks like Ms. Taulbee and Ms. Gulley when they decide what they will do about Medicaid expansion,” said Virginia Organizing State Governing Board member Ray Scher. “Any action or inaction by our General Assembly has direct consequences for real people.”

Secretary of Virginia Organizing Thomasine Wilson said, “Today’s media conference was about raising the voices of those who are directly affected by the lack of health care that Medicaid expansion would solve. The General Assembly needs to pay attention and take action.”

Virginia Organizing supports Medicaid expansion to provide health care to about 400,000 people and create 30,000 new jobs in Virginia.

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