In Session: Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap for Up To 400,000 Low-Income Virginians

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015


We are at a critical point now in our efforts to expand Virginia’s Medicaid program to cover up to 400,000 low income adults who have income below 138% of the federal poverty line. (e.g. $16, 243 /yr for an individual; $33,465/yr for a family of 4). This is our 3rd year trying to secure this coverage.

Meanwhile, twenty-nine other states (including the District of Columbia) have expanded. Virginia has already forfeited $1.6 Billion in federal funding that would have supported the coverage. These are federal tax dollars Virginians have already paid, which could have come back to the state to support the uninsured, hospitals, and Virginia’s economy. The state continues to forfeit over $4 million each day there is no expansion.Healthcare rally

Many of the people “in the gap” are legal aid clients whose health and financial status are worsened because they don’t have health insurance. Our local legal aid offices see them every day!

At this juncture in the legislative session, the House of Delegates remains obstinately opposed to expansion. A house subcommittee (on a 4-1 vote) killed two bills (HB 1830, HB 2212) that would have expanded coverage.

Our only remaining hope for this year is that the Senate will once again include expansion in their budget so the discussion can continue. There are 7 Senators on a key subcommittee. They are:

Sen. Hanger: 804-698-7524 – district24@senate.virginia

· Augusta, Greene, Madison, Staunton & Waynesboro; Parts of Culpepper & Rockingham

Sen Watkins: 804-698-7510 – district10@senate.virginia

· Powhatan; Parts of Chesterfield and Richmond City

Sen. Howell: 804-698-7532 – district32@senate.virginia

· Parts of Arlington and Fairfax County

Sen. Alexander: 804-698-7505 – district05@senate.virginia

· Parts of Norfolk and Chesapeake

Sen. Vogel: 804-698-7527 – district27@senate.virginia

· Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick & Winchester; Parts of Culpepper, Loudoun & Stafford

Sen. Carrico: 804-698-7540 – district40@senate.virginia

· Grayson, Lee, Scott, Washington, Bristol; Parts of Smyth, Wise & Wythe

Sen. Wagner: 804-698-7507 – district07@senate.virginia

· Parts of Norfolk and Virginia Beach

These Senators must hear from constituents BY TOMORROW! You can also contact other legislators. Use “whose my legislator” to find our legislators and contact information.

Our simple message: “Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap for up to 400,000 low income Virginians!”

You can also urge them to:

– develop a unique Virginia program to provide this coverage

– join 29 states (including D.C) that have already expanded their programs

-stop forfeiting hundreds of millions of our tax dollars that could help people

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