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Health Care Rally to Attract Diverse Groups of Virginians

PHOTO: While Gov. Terri McAuliffe travels the state to promote Medicaid expansion, advocates will rally for expansion at the Capitol this weekend. Photo credit: Michaele White; governor.va.gov
PHOTO: While Gov. Terri McAuliffe travels the state to promote Medicaid expansion, advocates will rally for expansion at the Capitol this weekend. Photo credit: Michaele White; governor.va.gov
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.


Alison Burns, Public News Service - VA