Support William’s Christmas Wish
Wednesday, December 20th, 2017
You’re most likely deep in holiday preparations. It’s a wonderful time of year to enjoy friends and family and pass along best wishes for good health, comfort, and joy. ‘Tis the Season!
Access to affordable health care may not be on your list this year but see the young man in the brown jacket in the picture below? His name is William, and he is one of the 240,000 uninsured Virginians living day to day in the healthcare coverage gap. He prays for good health since he can’t afford to get sick.
Just a few days ago, William spoke at a joint press conference to urge Virginia’s elected officials to take action and expand Medicaid in the upcoming General Assembly session.
William grew up South of Richmond. His parents are self-employed, and William, along with his three siblings, depended on Medicaid for their health insurance.
When William turned 19, he aged out of Medicaid. Now 21, he’s a college student with little income, but he’s still ineligible for health insurance because, unlike 31 states and the District of Columbia, Virginia has chosen not to adopt the expansion of Medicaid, which would be primarily be funded with federal tax dollars you and I have already paid.
It’s hard for William to pay for the healthcare he needs, and he worries about unexpected accidents or illness. He’s not eligible for Medicaid and William, as a student, doesn’t make enough income to qualify for Affordable Care Act subsidies.
The coverage gap hurts low-income working parents who have an income higher than Virginia’s current Medicaid eligibility levels. The eligibility levels are shockingly low.
For example, a family of three living in Northern Virginia must not make more than $10,524 a year. A family of three living in rural Southwest Virginia can’t earn more than $6,720! The coverage gap also affects people waiting for disability determinations, disabled people waiting for Medicare, patients dealing with cancer or other diseases, adults who have mental illness or substance use disorders, and others who don’t have access to insurance through their employer.
The holidays are a magical time of year. People of different faith traditions celebrate this season in various ways. However, a fundamental truth of ALL faith traditions is to care for our neighbor and ‘the least of these.’ We must do better for Michael and the other 240,000 Virginians who need access to affordable healthcare.
Your renewed support will enable us to work with the new Governor and other elected officials before and during the 2018 General Assembly session. Your financial contribution provides us the needed resources to educate our elected officials why Medicaid Expansion is the right choice for Virginia.
It is time to close the healthcare gap for Michael and many others like him. Access to affordable healthcare is truly the best present we can give uninsured Virginians!
On behalf of VPLC, we wish you a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season!
All my best,
Jay Speer, Esq.
VPLC Executive Director
PS – Here’s the link one more time. Thanks for helping VPLC help William.