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AL nonprofit urges Medicaid expansion to save rural hospitals; Harris skipping Netanyahu address shows daylight with Biden on Israeli leader; Biden to give first speech since dropping out of race; IN students face stricter attendance rules, new reading requirements; New Missouri law ensures medication access.

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Kamala Harris builds momentum toward nomination and vets potential Veeps. She and Trump take aggressive stances, as plans for a September debate continue. Sen. Bob Menendez says he'll resign, but will also appeal his corruption conviction.

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There's a gap between how rural and urban folks feel about the economy, Colorado's 'Rural is Rad' aims to connect outdoor businesses, more than a dozen of Maine's infrastructure sites face repeated flooding, and chocolate chip cookies rock August.

Health Care Rally to Attract Diverse Groups of Virginians

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Friday, March 14, 2014   

RICHMOND, Va. – The General Assembly might be taking a break from the state's heated Medicaid battle, but advocates for better health care say they won't cool down.

Diverse groups of Virginians – including fast food workers, senior citizens and religious leaders – are rallying at the state Capitol at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Anna Scholl, executive director of the advocacy group Progress VA, says everyone in the state has a stake in Medicaid expansion, as part of the new national health care law.

"Every day that the General Assembly delays expansion, we lose $5 million in federal funds that come from taxes Virginians have already paid," she says.

The General Assembly adjourned last week without passing a budget or expanding Medicaid – two of the governor's top priorities.

The House and Senate return to Richmond on March 24.

Scholl says allowing more families to enroll in Medicaid will eventually save the state more money than it costs.

"There are 400,000 Virginians, mostly working Virginians, who could receive access to affordable and quality health care if the General Assembly moves forward with closing the coverage gap," she points out.

Virginia Republicans argue that Democrats are holding the state budget hostage over the Medicaid issue.





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